I Am A Coelacanth

Aislinn Wilson

I am a coelacanth, pronounced SEE-lə-kanth.

After him I assessed whether or not to trust adults based on their willingness to learn how to say my name, because he called me “Ashley”. 

I am a coelacanth. I constitute a now rare order of fish with only two surviving species. Genetically, I have more in common with a koala or penguin than I do with a tuna or clownfish.

Grandma Debbie offered me new words to explore what I can only describe as “approximately childhood”. She offered me “indigo child”, “starseed”, and “changeling”, and in my waking hours I swore it was the fair folk that made me feel so distant from the others my age. 

I am a coelacanth. I was thought by western science to have gone extinct in the late cretaceous period, nearly 66 million years ago.

So there were different words for this disconnect, a diagnosis in fact. “Where are you? Where is my daughter?” asked my mom as we looked past one another’s eyes.

I am a coelacanth. I was a footnote in history books until fishermen in South Africa dragged me to shore in 1938.

“Your charts no longer appear like someone who has PTSD. I’d say you’re in remission.” Announced my therapist, dispelling the belief that this was something from which I could never recover.

I am a coelacanth, “the living fossil”. I am critically endangered, but not extinct. I am extant, a species or document that is still in existence, surviving.

Remembering all the times I prayed that like a phoenix I would rise from my ashes, I realize where I went wrong. There are no ashes, and there is no such thing as phoenix. I am more tangible,

I am a coelacanth, and I was never gone.


  • Author: Aislinn Wilson (Offline Offline)
  • Published: January 17th, 2020 13:03
  • Category: Unclassified
  • Views: 24
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  • orchidee

    A fine write Aislinn.
    Well, I'm very old, so I say - a living fossil! That's my middle name. lol.
    Some folk these days who won't have anything to do with even basic I.T./computing matters are called 'dinosaurs'!

  • queer-with-a-pen

    May or may not be teary eyed. This embodies trauma so well, and the lasting effects of it. The last line is very poignant, on how you were never gone. I like that a lot.

  • Neville

    this is effin bril and I aint talkin fish ....🐟🐟🐠🐟

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