Contemplating Caves at a Kitchen Table
My kin wore nothing and drew with black in the dark. They couldn’t see, so touched their way, unaware they knelt on generations. Through necromancy or sleight of hand, ingested questions, painted accordingly.
My kin drew in disappearing ink. Now anthropologists pore over clues. The distant past, its bramble of red herrings, litany of suspects, keeps them awake under bed lamps pawing Agatha Christies.
Once my kin left the caves, it seemed less spectacular, almost inevitable. A rock with some symbols turns up in Iran. Lock it in Tupperware. Place it on the timeline. An assembly of dashes methodically align left to right. A skyward pitch of progress proves the hypothesis: we’re getting taller. The present admires the accumulation of hatch marks advancing up the pantry wall, nods with satisfaction.
I walk outside. My girl draws on sidewalk. ‘Write your name,’ I say, and she kneels, with a pastel fist, writes a circle face, a triangle dress. A single line alludes to every strand of hair.