Imagine the first rumor. The first grunt of gossip
The first finger-point of prejudice. It was probably
like noticing the sunset for the first-time. How it
stretched out across the entire scope of your vision,
peeled back into a city that wasn’t the one you were in,
like an orange peel, one skin at a time. Eventually,
the world rounded, the ice melted, ****-sapiens
grew taller. Our voices deepened, bodies thickened.
We learned to survive the cold, the floods,
the irrational wars, and crescent-mooned nights
underneath tinned roofs. Then came the enlightenment,
the evolution of speech. The first cousin of Germanic
languages; the second cousin of Romantic languages.
And then the first rumor. The first appraisal of good
or bad actions of people hardly known. I imagine
my ancestors, 1.9 million years ago, grunting
with raised brow in her partner’s direction. Pointing
at two men crouching behind a large, fallen boulder.
Pointing at a man who belongs to her neighbor,
crawling out of a cave that doesn’t belong to him.
They are probably turning over in their bone-filled
graves as I think of what to say next, laughing at how
far we haven’t come from the ghouls of gossip,
discussing how out of all the occupations in this world:
bricklayer, lawyer, educator, their descendant chose
this noble profession, this calling up of events.