Have you ever seen an image that took hold of you so strongly that you woke up in the middle of the night thinking about it?
When I saw it, I was horrified, but I thought I would just file it away.
When I started waking up, thinking about her-the rhino I had seen-I knew I needed to do something.
The image was of a female rhino whose horn had been chainsawed off her face by poachers.
They had tracked her from the air in helicopters, used darts to sedate her and then executed their violence. She survived, somehow. Her beautiful calf did not. In the picture, she's been rescued. You can see one of her eyes. It looks wild, like there is too much white showing.
You can see her trauma in that eye.
The caption described how she and another male rhino at the sanctuary had become inseparable. Rhinos are normally solitary creatures.
I started to write a story.
The female rhino is the narrator. I began like this:
"There are great kelp bladders, air mouthed into their growth, fed into them. The process of lifting near rootless: sea constant against each hollow knuckle: falling, unfalling.
I have no built-in buoy. I collapse into the undrinkable.