Laura C Carlson
Transpecies Viral Landscapes II (2020)
graphite, gouache, ink on paper
34 x 22 in.
“I write this with baby chicks both amusingly and annoyingly cheeping ceaselessly in the background as they brood in my covid-19 home-office. I am mourning the loss of my newfound rabbit love, who only tolerated me. She escaped, in heat, to what I hope are gorgious adventures, but i am afraid–as I cope with fears of Covid, a zoologic pandemic itself, she is vulnerable to Rabbit hemorrhagic disease, a contagious virus with 70-100% mortality rates. I have left her favorite treats in her hutch, checking daily for any evidence of life.
My grandma is dying alone in Kansas and is too tired to talk to me.
Dwelling on/dealing in mortality–trying to witness (is this all) the mass mortality/mutilations. I am sobbing in the Wash Tub laundromat, vulnerable to infection–I am actually afraid to die.
All imaginings of beings here and not here, that have become and begone. The sacred and profane fertility of rabbit pressed against the slime of extinction. Snails can be prolific breeders too. Until they cannot be. Extinction is not only a concept of death–it is a lack of life. A lack of birth.
Juniper escaped to get laid. She’s a horny rabbit looking for love and I’m a human lost in the mire of interspecies corporeal culpability.
Lost lives meeting in vivid fecundity. We are categories to ourselves: sick, mammal, mollusk, pain, companions; but also to those who would eat us, collect us, stow us in the banals of ships to perish as long-form nutrition. Slow life, fast death.
She’ll hemorrhage and die. Rabbit hemorrhagic disease. A concurrent virus to our own. Don’t look it up, the pictures are a horror movie. RHDV2, no vaccine. Congested membranes, blood frothed.
Lonely George and Lonesome George, a pair only met through human naming and maiming. Last of. Endling.”
© Laura C Carlson