It does not stare back. The lid is closed, but I can see the tiny cracks, its creepy seams. It remains motionless, but I now know that any minute those rings coalesced around the knot might unfurl in either direction, most likely skyward. Like a telescope it might uncoil, and then the delicate triangles will unhinge, or perhaps gather on a tiny track around the rim and something spherical will emerge.
An Eye. A single Eye on a breakfast tray next to yellow egg yolks-I’ve seen it.
It wasn’t round, it was a convex ellipse with painted iris. The coral was round, behind it, attached to muscle which allowed it to shift almost like a real human eye. But to what brain, what receptor, is this Eye connected?
Perhaps here, underfoot, a whole intricate system of circuitry, more complex than a city with all it’s structural layers. Pumps pushing waste away, bringing in what it needs to sustain life, to sustain perception. To sustain the Eye- the single feature most often thought of as a window, a portal. This it is not. Even with the splintering sheath over its monstrous orb, I can tell.
I can tell it is over for us. This quaint time. We’ve been warned, but in disbelief we carry on our merry way. Unprepared— for what I can not exactly say, but to relax and enjoy this precipice is too much to ask.
When it opens, and I am certain that it will, the illusions will fall away. I’ve imagined the outcome many ways. A continuation of the present being the most likely, but looking back at what has changed already and how it felt, I think it will hardly be the same at all. I’d be lucky to remember this—to remember anything at all.
Perhaps when I see it 1,000 times some dim reflection in its glaring surface will kick my sense of knowing—that deep sense that still exists no matter how far off the ledge I’ve jumped in my mind, when I’ve left it all, all but the faintest trace of knowing. And in that glimpse, I might know that we were once the keepers of the earth.