The French verb for “to love” is aimer. That’s one letter away from amer, the adjective for “bitter.” Chocolate grows geographically far from sugar, without which it is only a bitter brown seed. Scarred hands of laborers nurture the repugnant plant, not knowing the miraculous puberty it will undergo once it is plucked dead and past their horizon.

Congealed shark cartilage breathes silently within skin creams on mirrored bathroom counters next to white starfish the pretty woman doesn’t understand are dead.

After kicking one hand until it releases the edge, I realize I don’t want my godmother to fall into the lava sea beneath her after all. But at this point, with only five fingers connecting her to cool earth, it is unlikely I can reverse the pact I’ve signed with gravity in blood. I still have to try. I reach for her hand.


Learn more about products containing sharks and how to help save these vital and endangered sea archangels here:

I also just found out about this awesome globally active organization working to educate people, establish laws, and carry out research and conservation activities to help sharks. It is called SOSF, the Save Our Seas Foundation, and it focuses on sharks but also works to help other ocean life. Find out more here:

Image credits in order of appearance:

“Boy collecting cacao from drying in Chuao, Venezuela” By Electrolito – Transfered from, CC BY-SA 3.0,

“Pelican release. Pelican Island Pioneer Festival 2014 – Celebrating 150th birthday of Paul Kroegel, first refuge manager. Photos by Garry Tucker, USFWS.” By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region – Pelican Taking Off, CC BY 2.0,



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