Manhattan was a poor canvas for fossils.

It lay originally tucked into the heart of Pangea.

As the plates split apart, the soil and rocks drifted and fell in upon themselves,
laundering the memory of prehistoric beasts within the strata
with the frustrative quality of a roughly folded top sheet.

This was followed by a cleaving
that began in the Triassic era along the Jersey Turnpike
forming rift valleys like stretch marks from Greenland to Patagonia,
many of which flooded like sputtering arteries,
and drained periodically under nature’s haphazard tourniquet.

And we continued like that,
flooding and draining,
flooding and draining,
and drifting apart,
until entire oceans churned in the space between us.

The plates continue to breathe and stretch their calciferous limbs and
after a time spent expanding,
will contract again to find their sister shores.

Jean Gismervik


Jean is currently a Director of Special Education in Westchester County, NY. She was previously been published by and URB magazines, as well as St. Mary's Press. In her free time, she enjoys extrapolating the way it all will end, throwing impromptu parties, and going on haunted walking tours in new cities.