we now have legs

originally published in Issues Magazine, Fall 2014

 
 Image by  Tomoyuki Kambe

We now have legs. We didn’t have them before. When we slithered to the shore, we were nothing but sacks of gelatin; somewhere in the night, our backbones formed.

*

My body is changing faster now. I have palms and I know to stay away from cactus spikes. My brother points at the sky and then towards his face, trying to tell me something, but I don’t understand because we don’t really have mouths yet, and until yesterday, we didn’t have hands either.

*

Half of the group that floated here with us have begun to wonder. The other half practice squats and touch each other with their tongues. The half that are wondering stand still, thinking about their knees, and how much they resemble their elbows.

*

Today someone discovered we could make love in a whole set of different positions. Standing, seated with wrists supporting, holding each other by the thighs, the backs. My brother is the only one who shows no interest in sex. He runs from one end of the valley to the other, breathing hard and beaming. The hollow where he should be sleeping besides me is always empty.

*

Maybe we will end here. Our hides softened and translucent, the bottoms of our feet holding us up against the desert sand. Maybe legs were the limbs we’ve been waiting for.

*

In the dead of night my brother wakes me and takes me to look into the rich heart of the valley and the water that glistens there. This is who made us, he says. Underneath my bare feet, something sharp strikes me and draws blood; I turn to my brother but his gaze is fixed deep within the vista. Large, hooded eyes hang in the sky and drink in the pulp of our bodies.