We’ll watch them do it. The iodine. The scalpel. The cuts. We are in favor of it. Before, we would’ve watched YouTube. Before even that, Bob Ross. Happylittletrees. What was before that? God sets down his fork and returns to the closet.
I clean the windows. The door. A tiny talon of God against grain scratches. He’s working on his calendar again. I spray. Wipe. Spray. Wipe. My view must not be obscured. They work. I learn.
It is the first time we’ve been together in weeks. The taxidermy keeps me busy. Staring through the glass, I narrate to God.
I see how they pluck away the hair. I see how they baste the skin with iodine. I see how they season the creatures for surgery. God nods. He sees it now, too. His talons tap sadly. He can’t pick up a scalpel. I want to bake him with love. But there is no love. There are only sonnets.
I see now the first scoring of the skin.
There is no worry from scalpel to stitch.
Prepare for the foreign flesh application.
Watch the hammer-headed lemur’s first twitch.
Someday perhaps, we shall do the same, God.
I will play you and you will play with me.
When divots in dirt are by creatures odd.
My thanks to you will gush so sincerely.
Strange reserves are what the world will get.
You once said, “Canst thou bind the unicorn?”
Because they haven’t been invented yet.
Produce the horse and I’ll apply the horn.
As I expect. God screeches the glass with his talons. He needs a moment to prepare for the end-couplet. He draws the air over my skin into his lungs. Chills. Goosebumps. He exhales. He is now ready.
World forever changed by our divine craft
Drift away Darwin, set fire to the raft.
The white feathers around his eyes moisten with tears. Someday, I’ll have feathers around my eyes, too.
We have been studying for weeks. The concepts are now attainable to us. I drink coffee, stroking the luxurious pelt of an albino beaver. God is moved by my tenderness. God is so moved by my tenderness. God is so moved by my tenderness that he inadvertently transports me back through time.
I watch the ocean. Fishing boats flee from a marauding bald eagle. They must have something it wants. It’s Earth Day 2012. God knows me so well. I have to move inland and find freshwater as soon as possible. Whenever I am, I have the same goal.
I have to move inland. I move inland. I am inland.
There is a stream obstructed by a fortification of timber. This stream, obstructed by a dam, has, on one side, become a deep lake. I stand on the dam and dive into the deep end. I dive until I reach the underwater entrance. I enter the underwater entrance and swim up into the hidden lodge of the creatures who engineered this marvel of engineering. Instantly, I am surrounded by them. Their Uzis poke into my nose and neck.
The beavers are 90% beaver, 9% Josef Božek , legendary Czech engineer. How else could they do this? Bob Ross would be proud. The guns are gone. We stand together at a blueprint (their dam) they unrolled atop a fine tiger-mahogany drafting table. I am impressed by their ingenuity. The Beaver General is an Albino. He smiles at me and slips away.
We are alone. His pink eyes gaze into mine. I stroke his pelt. He steps back, searches through the white ruff of oily fur at his neck and grasps a hidden zipper. As he unzips his skin from neck to groin, I unzip and remove my jumpsuit. As he steps out of his skin he disappears. His luxurious pelt falls to the damp floor of the dam. I score my skin with the husk of an eviscerated pineapple. I don the pelt and feel it fuse onto my skin.
I exit the underwater asylum into the pond and rise to the surface. I slap my tail and scan the sky for the marauding bald eagle. There’s only one thing left to do before going back home.
C.R. DOBSON has put his MA in Writing from Northern Michigan University to good use by teaching literature at a university in South Korea. His poetry and short stories can be found in magazines and journals that you’ve probably never heard of. When not teaching or writing, he’s either reading or exploring the wonderful world with his white chinchilla Persian, Momo.