"As Much As We Do Ourselves" by Morgan Ridgway


It’s horseshoe crab season and the air is heavy

and the fossils are surfacing in droves

to bring their young into the world, small eggs

to be cracked open by even smaller legs

or the beaks of birds descending to feast.

The elders say that horseshoe crabs are like humans,

traveling the only way they know how, and I think

if only we treated each other like they did maybe

we would understand what it means to hold each other close.

I read once that mating only happens in the presence

of the sand in which they themselves were hatched

and I wonder if humans were like horseshoe crabs

if we would take care of the world better, like our lives

depended on it. I want us to depend on it, on a world

that cares for us as much as we do ourselves.

That the shorebirds swallowing buried eggs wouldn’t end

with loss, wouldn’t mean collapse or catastrophe.

That our life would be the life of every grain of sand

remembering who broke free from its depths

alive and gasping for breath.


Morgan L. Ridgway is a queer Black/Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape writer, dancer, and historian from Philadelphia, PA. They are currently completing a PhD in history thinking about gathering and care. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Querencia, Cabaret, and the Sacrilegious Salacious Zine by The Estuary Collective. They tweet @morgan_ridgway.

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