They pulsated. Like pale, gelatinous hearts (though of course, they had no hearts, nor any other organs, for that matter). Like dancers whose music had been swallowed by the solid tubes and cubes of suspended ocean. Like birds in slow motion.
We watched. Breathed alongside them, separated only by glass. It was dark but they glowed; lanterns, northern lights, miniature moons in a midnight sky.
She's still deciding about zoos, she told me when I showed her the tickets. The polar bear in the 80-degree heat nearly convinced her, but I couldn't think of a better way to illuminate the heartbreak of climate change. And now we're here and she's unsure again.
Here, we are alone in our humanness, in this broken piece of the world. I picture the land below us as it once was, thick with grass and sky, picture people drawn together to chop down trees and mountains and sea, picture them arranging them just like this. I think for all of us, in time to our swaying: how did we end up here?
We are side by side, perfectly matched. I don't hold her hand, I am afraid it will feel like I have starfish at the ends of my arms. But the sweat and sunshine of an hour ago are quickly fading, replaced by goosebumps and the sudden feeling of nakedness beneath my t-shirt, and my pulse no longer matches anything else.