Kim Parko :: Shell, Antlers, Feathers


I was born in the month of the hermit crab. I have the characteristic soft abdomen of those born in this month; it pudges out and is susceptible to anyone with jaws or thrusting spears. It is not strong enough to keep my spine straight; therefore, I have the chronic back ache of those who are spiraled. My birth story unraveled; I was deep in my egg when the birth-horn echoed through the sea. The sound was my beckoning into the unwalled world. I crept out with my fringed antennae sweeping the vagueness. I am still creeping out. I am searching for a calcified coil to shield me, and a columnella to clasp my abdomen to. I go door to door looking for a dark-windowed home into which my entire body can retract.


It is of the utmost necessity to wear a shirt with an antlered deer upon it – just the head so that there is plenty of room for the antlers to branch. The antlers should glow, as if inner lit. The antlers are hard and inwardly alive. Outwardly, they are made of a replenished deadness. The antlers can be used as weapon if I am suddenly attacked or if I am defending my territory. They can also be used to create more territory for me to inhabit or just relax in. For instance if I am eating quietly on my own in a restaurant and a noisy twosome sits close by, I can thrust out my antlered chest. I can make sure no one messes with my quietude. Antlers are extensions of the skull, but for our purposes, they will be extensions of the breastbone with the heart cowering behind it.


This is what I’ve been told about the prismatic effect of certain hummingbird feathers – they posses the ability to separate light into colored bands. We can look at the world like a bunch of waves endlessly lapping the shoreline of objects. A hummingbird’s unique pigmentation may be due to multiple wavelengths bouncing off the perceiving eye, not due to the pigmentation within the feather itself. So too, when I walk into the café, I am as pale as a cave worm, but I am bejeweled in a way that camouflages my wan state. I am encrusted with multi-facets. I am a shimmered skin draped over a blue-veined whiteness. The hummingbirds can appear a dull brown from one angle – a blazing red from another.

These pieces also appear in print.