Theory of Evolution

Crocodile. Goat. Rearing horse. Snarling wild canine. Cave paintings in a shower. Lascaux, France at 4280 Peach Way, Boulder, Colorado. Inside these dark, travertine walls, she feels Paleolithic, priestly, behaviorally and anatomically modern. What man, even one on a Paleo diet, could fit in here, too, she wonders, shaving her bristly legs, her bush. Homo habilis, erectus, neanderthalis, sapiens—so many cavemen, so few epochs, and, hot damn, they walked upright, striding longer and longer, traveling from habitat to habitat, spine curved for the shock of terroir underfoot. Had she been the artist, she would’ve drawn not mammals and mythical creatures, not geometries of symbols and a bird-headed man with an erect phallus, but cypress and magnolias, ferns and scouring rush, though she still would’ve blown pulverized pigments of red, brown, and straw yellow down a tube made of wood, reed, or bone. Had she been the artist, she would’ve told not a story but the roundabout foragings of her cavewoman soul, every nut, seed, and berry that said, I’m here, ready to feed your grunting heart. But she’s not an artist, not a prehistoric female stenciling her hands on limestone walls, not a Venus inspiring buxom statuettes. She’s not stone-aged, but middle-aged in twenty-first–century America, an untraceable kind of extinction. The shower’s spray of water has gotten colder. Oh, to be a fossil. Preserved in ice. Or stone. Amber. Alone.

After Bruce Rogers Holland’s “Renaissance,” in which the word counts of successive sentences are structured according to the Fibonacci sequence (up to 55, and then reversed), created by adding the last two numbers in the sequence to get the next number: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, and so on.