The Letter

“The Letter” — Illustration by Caitlin Johnstone

I found a dead bison by the side of the freeway.
A white one, the kind that visits you in dreams
and wordlessly walks you through the wonders and horrors 
of everything that lies Underneath.

It was crumbled up smashed
at the foot of a billboard for wireless service
and was partially covered in fast food wrappers.
Violets and daffodils were sprouting from its flesh.

As dark clouds gathered and wetness began to fall,
I sank down and laid upon my side.
Thinking about all the bad things.
Watching droplets wash blood from white fur.

I asked the ground, 
“Why?
Why come this far
if it was just going to end like this?
With factories spewing black smoke from burnt angels
while plastic TV hosts twist their mouths into smiles?
With Raytheon revolutions and populist ecocide?
With brainwashed babies and an Amazon logo on the moon?”

I heard footsteps approaching,
but I didn’t turn around.

A familiar claw reached down
and handed me a letter.

“You’ve been gone for decades when I needed you most,” I said.
“Why come back at all?”

Air washed over me as the fucker took flight.
Never saw him again.
Didn’t need to.

I opened the letter.
My tears mixed with the rain.

— — —

Like what you read? Give Caitlin Johnstone a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.