Now Reading
When The Ten Thousand Ton Trilobite Attacked

When The Ten Thousand Ton Trilobite Attacked

forest fire

When The Ten Thousand Ton Trilobite Attacked

by Jason Baltazar

When it abandoned the tide and scraped ashore, an ancient articulated island dredging our mainland, when the waters rolling off its thoracic segments flooded outlying neighborhoods, harbinger waves ferrying refugees and debris to the heart of the city, we said: Heck, that’s really something.

When the whip of its antennae crumpled flex-fuel SUVs like empties in a step dad’s fist, when its serrated fringe sawtoothed our downtown towers, first through fifth stories sheared right down there near the root, when the glass of our full-length mirrors precipitated like century storms and their shards tinkled over the smooth chitin arc of the great-great grandbeast, we said: Say, what’s the big idea?

When its multitude of limbs dragged the weight of two hundred seventy million years to furrow the steel and cement and investment capital lacework of our Sunday best, when it carved a yawning trough through subway lines and utility grids and municipal district brand identity marketing campaigns, when the shadow of it cooled our cookouts and the kids came out of the pool shivering, even when we were engulfed in the mouthparts we still wondered if we really believed in the mouth at all, and we wondered if this wind gusting damp on our skins could really be breath and we wondered if this way of being could really be an epoch of digestion and we told ourselves it can’t be because we still have work in the morning and surely they would tell us not to come in if we were being patiently dissolved in a tapering gullet of corrosive ruin, and all of this came out as a thunderous, resounding: Don’t that just beat all?

Jason Baltazar is a proud Salvadoran American. He is currently finishing a PhD focused on speculative fiction and postcolonial studies at the University of Kansas. His work has appeared in Boston Review, F(r)iction Magazine, Bourbon Penn, and other venues. For more info, please check out his website or find him on twitter/insta @jasonrbaltazar.