In the field: the seven-ish pieces
of garter snake left by my father.
Perhaps he suddenly remembered
the story about the snake that kept
swallowing chickens perched in the
low branches of a tree until it was shot
and beaten into the dirt with
sticks, so he went indoors
to share it. I don’t know how one
snake relates to another except for the
dying, although my father has always had
a fear of being swallowed
whether by a large reptile or the earth
that suddenly fissures beneath him,
even entering a room could cause
cold sweats when he stopped to
think about the way doorways
resembled the mouths of bass. He said
it’s because his brother once told him
how the night is a large fish trying
to swallow us but we are too small
to recognize such truisms and since then
my father has tried to remove the moon
from a fish and divide the night into
smaller, more manageable moons.
Albert Abonado lives in Rochester, NY, and recently received his MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in issues of Rattle, upstreet, Anti-, Front Porch, Gargoyle, and Fugue.
Diwata by Barbara Jane Reyes.
Holding Company by Major Jackson.
Coal Mountain Elementary by Mark Nowak.
Homepage photo via Flickr by NASA Solar System Exploration