Occasionally I have an idea of what kind of story/poem I might write from the first moment I see the thing I’m going to photograph, but in most cases I don’t plan ahead. I edit the photos and upload them to Tumblr and then I drink some coffee and stare at them and just start writing. It’s a very instinctual thing. Google “psychography.” It’s something like that.
We decided it was best that they be kept separate.
Although they were of the same species and had every reason to cooperate, to join together against their common enemies—hunger, the elements, and the brutal degradations of time on their tender bodies and minds—they seemed intent on destroying each other. They fought and clawed and caused irreparable damage to themselves and other specimens, so we separated them.
We wondered if perhaps they were not naturally evolved creatures after all but had been designed by some spacefaring comedians as a bit of cosmic slapstick, so misaligned were their modes of thinking. We marveled that they had a shared language, so differently did they use it. It was not broadcasting on the wrong radio frequency. It was mailing letters to a television. The wrong machine entirely.
What we found most puzzling was that they exhibited no desire to bridge these gaps. The males remained staunchly, fiercely male, shuddering away from even the smallest step toward their female counterparts, and the females recoiled with equal disgust, regarding the males as repugnant things that could not be understood, only changed.
They regarded each other with horror across the chasm of their differences, and when forced together by circumstance or primal desires, they scratched and fought and fouled their cages, until we had no choice but to intervene.
We could not decide how to continue the experiment. Separated, they would only evolve further apart, become more intensely themselves and more fiercely opposed to being anything else. And if kept apart long enough, of course, their species would cease entirely. Perhaps that would be the result of the experiment. Perhaps the only humane way to conclude it.