Colin Harris

Civilising The Chimp

We were on the brink of civilising the chimp, but neither of us had a full one. The one we received started talking creation. I was left to work in the perfect conflicts, sealing fates, closing doors, depositing small seeds of doubt. I would have gone elsewhere, but staying in unearths other possibilities — you fit your repertoire to amuse yourselves.

We are lit with an ancient light: destroy the hostility that forces you, stake out your dominions, this is not a training ground. Species' have addictions to survive by swallowing wisdom from other lives. We are like worms, just processing in a different key. To be a hero means to be hung at the heart, but your smiles will come unbidden.

We thought the truth would be easier. Programmed extinction of stigmatic chancers. In the forest the following night they discovered the quirks of eyewitnesses. We knew what had happened, but that strange globe never explains the sweet smell of the blood.

We live out dreams pitched in our sleep, making real what we don't even realise we hope for. The field changes and death drifts away, covered by clouds. In time, someone will understand that afterglow in your eyes. Sentient voices will bark at you to jump.