Postcard proseIssue 15 | June 2012

Rhinoceri

by Bonnie Bishop

Nine! she exclaims, gesturing toward the river, grasslands and riverine forest.

I could easily have mistaken them for boulders but they are moving, slowly, steadily moving. Through binoculars, I see their horns and huge rectangular heads, their grinding jaws.

From the elephant platform, we clamber onto a howdah. The phanit clucks, presses his bare toes into the soft flesh on back of our elephant’s ears. We lumber through the muck and up into a sea of elephant grass thirty feet high. It closes behind us like water after the passage of a small boat. Then, into the forest.

In clearings, we glimpse wild boar and deer that flee, but we can approach the grazing rhinos as close as fifteen feet.

They stare at us; we stare back. Their rabbity ears twitch. Birds hop around on their enormous backs. The mantle of their armor drapes over massive backs, and articulated cloaks wrap their thighs. Below the armor, the calves are tapered and graceful. One has a long, pink gash on the inside of his left hind leg. If they’ve been in the river, they are two-toned, the lower portion like unset cement, the upper like sun-baked clay.

They never stop chewing. They are suddenly, completely, beautiful to me.

About the author

Bonnie Bishop has lived in Italy and Greece and hitchhiked from Athens to Copenhagen. She has crossed Canada by train, marvelled at the terra cotta warriors in Xi’an, ridden an elephant in the jungle of Nepal and gazed at the Taj Mahal as the sun set and the full moon rose. Read her book, O Crocodile, (2013, Finishing Line Press).

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok