The Cool of Blue
Pia Z. Ehrhardt

Menopause doesn't happen to animals because their lives are short. Except for pilot whales, and also killer whales who can live past 90. In her thirties, a killer female stops reproducing to yield to her daughters, and to realize the grandchildren. Her pod must stay together, a simple design, this gathering village. Sex ends for the next fifty years. She has no further need for the penis as long as a hose, the weightless contact, distant, like jumbo jets refueling in mid-air. Fathers leave for younger mounts. Sons stay because their families survive longer in the invisible net of a mother, her flashes cooled by deeper water.

Pia Z. Ehrhardt is the author of FAMOUS FATHERS AND OTHER STORIES. She lives in New Orleans.

Read her postcard.

Detail on main page from art by Paul Windsor.

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