Dead Turtles

Inspired by Fan Dong, 凡洞

The Worldly Cave, by Zhou Tao

All the films in the world couldn’t predict our          current situation. Watching horror films or             thrillers about pandemics, disease, and worldly         tragedies seem abhorrently perverse upon               reflection. I don’t feel like we’re in a              movie. I very much feel like we are in our           own world, suffering at the hands of those           who would spit on us if we were to walk by.         Whose hands and mouths and bodily fluids I         can’t imagine as being real to begin with. I       don’t feel any film I’ve seen so far has had the  range to represent the intersectional depth of the  

                                        tragedies we’ve been dealt with. When you read this, you need to know that I am not a white person talking about the woes of life. I see how this virus is affecting my community and when it is turned into a movie for the pleasure of future audiences to gasp at its horrors, the scene with Black and brown communities will only show up for a few seconds– as a wipeout scene– and that’s probably about as far as it’ll go. Where

will they depict the trans and nonbinary folks that are

staying home, risking their own health so as not to further

overwhelm hospitals? The single mothers–– sorry, essential

workers without PPE having to return to their children after

tending to sick people all day? Where will they show how

amerikkka really treats our communities? As we sit in our

homes, apartments, dwellings, isolated alone or in the 

company of others, I’m persisted with thoughts about how

much longer it’ll be for techies to procure a slew of apps

and VR technologies that would propel us further into

accepting a detachment from somatic experience and how much        further that will disconnect us from seeing the                 devastation happening to our communities. How quickly            do we turn our faces into something less painful                when the opportunity presents itself? Turtles                 sometimes live and die in tanks in dark corners                of pet shops with artificial light sprinkling                onto their shells. They’ll never taste fresh                 water and they don’t know what oceans are.                  Stomachs turn when people say it’s okay because            they don’t know there’s something to miss. Isn’t            it more revolting to bury a dead turtle in an earth      it had never pressed its feet into before its passing?