I’ve been a male anglerfish. I sank my teeth in, gave up entirely on nourishment. I let my jaws and lips dissolve and fuse with the flesh of the beloved’s side, waiting to be made useful, equally happy to wither down to a dead pair of gonads.
Having lived this way, I can tell you I don’t recommend it.
I’ve been a penguin, cozying up to the beloved, but only for a season, shivering together on the ice. Us against the elements like that: it wasn’t to last. I waddle away from it with whatever kind of smile a beak can form.
Still, if you’re going to square with impermanence, you might start there.
I’ve been a lioness, helping and shunning and nurturing and punishing. I’ve been a sea otter, falling asleep holding hands on the wavering tide.
Now I’m one in a pair of pigeons. We dwell in the city and feed on trash, but you should see us when we take to the trees. We look just like doves.