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Andra Simons

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Turtlemen: North American Dream

My first love was a loon, who thought he was a man, who thought he was a water buffalo. In fact he only dated other water buffalo, who pretended to be men, who I thought were obvious loons. Even though I had told him many times I was a descendant of the ancient tribe of Turtlemen he often confused me for a tortoise. I hadn’t the tenderness to tell him the difference. His thoughts were two-minute songs by blond water nymphs bouncing on television. Of his, I yearned for a singular composed thought. On Saturday afternoons he would splash-dive into a murky lagoon beside the motorway from a cloudless sky. Holding his breath ballooned he’d twist and turn underwater, smear his feathers in grit churned up from a soft bottom. Returning, his head would rear out with a popping bellow, arching proudly his golden bowed horns that were conduits of the divine. After this ritual exhaustive pleading, onto the bankside he would come beside me dripping under a temperate sun and smile as if he had found a chorus, of which he wasn’t allowed to share the melody. Beside the motorway’s eternal din staring up at a fading sun, I knew we were weary. We thought we were sound. Pretending to be wet.

 
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