I love you.
There are a lot of different species of animals in the wilderness. The largest locally is probably the coyote. Coyotes prey upon animals that are smaller than they are. There was one coyote in the forest that had an affinity for one particular bird. He chased the bird through the woods and would catch it every once in a while, rip out chunks of its feathers and give it a little nip. This was a bird that flew solo, apart from the herd. An easy target for the coyote. But the bird was incredibly resilient and always survived; the coyote could never successfully get rid of it, no matter how hard he tried. The bird always came out on the other side okay. Or as okay as a bird could be being stalked by a coyote.
Are you okay? Do you have someone to call?
One day, the coyote drew up a plan. He set a trap and lay in wait for the bird. He managed to catch her, and he held her in his great, powerful jaw by the nape of her neck. As the coyote swung her back and forth, the bird didn’t fight. She worried it would be harder for her, that she would be hurt more. She hung limply and let the coyote play with his food. This is the only option that prey has, to be broken. To break again and again. As long as the prey is still there to break, it is still useful. Still alive.
Tests. You’re going to feel a stick. There.
The coyote licked his prey again and again, enjoying the taste of her on his tongue. He traced from her ear down to her chin, and when he was done, the coyote left her on the ground in a pile of leaves. The leaves were bright red, the color of turning seasons. A stain on the carpet of the forest. He planned to come back for her later, but she didn’t give him the chance. As hurt and broken as she was, she pulled herself away under cover. She built herself a wall of leaves and rock and she hid behind it, in a place where he could never find her. But memories would stick. Scars would always remain.
The wall was impenetrable, allowing only the necessary stimuli through. A flash here, a flash there. Artificial light. A camera.
Like the top of the canopy in a forest, only a minimal amount of light is allowed through the wall. Only that which is very necessary for things to grow. Move forward. Prey can run and hide, but not forever. The scars will always be there, sometimes bleeding and sometimes not. And predators smell the blood, the weakness. They come. They kill.
Prey is always prey until it’s completely broken.
Too often, life is like that.
To myself: come back. I can’t fly, my wings are broken.