You, Me, and Red Knots
We’re hung over in a Vegas hotel from the entire
plastic blender of margarita we got from Jimmy
Buffet’s restaurant the night before when we walked
drinking aimlessly up and down the strip.
You try to distract yourself from the headache, the four
hours of driving ahead, the things we might
have said the night before. You’re watching
a PBS documentary about red knots – these tiny birds
and their relationship with Delaware horseshoe crabs.
The red knots will migrate 9000 miles from Tierra del Fuego
up to arctic Canada to breed. My mom calls to ask when
we’ll arrive at her house in LA. On the last full moon in May
the red knots arrive in Delaware Bay to double
their weight on horseshoe crab eggs. I tell my mom
we’re still not on the road, ignoring the fact
that the only voice we’ve heard all morning
is the documentary narrator, now describing how
horseshoe crabs are harvested for antibiotics, so the red knots
can’t feed enough to survive up north when they finally
get to mate. You say something so typically you:
how the universe is just so beautifully connected and we’re
always ruining it. The red knots won’t be able to survive
if the horseshoe crab population doesn’t increase.
I hang up the phone and look at you, the rings
around your eyes entirely focused on the television’s
groan. The narrator hints there may be hope
for the red knots.