How to Be a Leopard Seal – Carla Myers

It’s kept a secret
It’s a common side effect of amputation.
Doctors’ mania and irregular bits of medical grade tape
leave you with hypertrophic spots where your breasts used to be.
That’s not the side effect.

One morning you wake up as a leopard seal
in a National Geographic documentary.
One thousand pounds of dappled aggression
on an iceberg.

The featured baby penguin sits protected on his father’s feet.
The ends of your mouth curve upward.
The camera zooms in.
A seal has a charming smile.

Silently you slip into the water
And alongside the penguin family
Where you hurtle out and clutch them in the most ancient handshake.
Because now
It’s in your nature.

Carla MyersWith an undergraduate degree in sculpture and a J.D., Carla Myers followed the most logical path to becoming a writer. This year she retained a significant number of body parts, but not as many as she had hoped. She recently won the flash-fiction writing contest at The Gateway Review with a story about killing off some of her ancestors. She is the winner of the Columbia Journal Evolve Special Issue and her work has been published in The Jabberwock Review, Patheos, Muse/ A Journal, Streetlight, Convivium and Sonic Boom.