Nights, I dream of birds and serpents nowadays.
A yellow coil of life, expanding and contracting, cold smooth against my throat as I lie on the couch in the afternoon. An old couch, black and torn, I sink into it like a child into hay, like a dove into the rocky cliffside. The snake sinks its teeth into my jawbone like it is made of butter, oh, this is what it’s like to wake up and not know who you are. Beautiful.
I ask my friend at breakfast,
What does this mean?
An unrealized trust, blue flowers of mourning, crushed sugar at the bottom of the stirring bowl. I bring my finger to my lips and taste the snake there.
It’s bright like day in the dancing quarter, half past twelve, half passed the convenience store. Piled papers lie in mud, blow placid in the wind, black and stinking like the aviation of paradise. In the yellowing sky above, sparks of neon light quiver. A flock of cranes careens across the empyrean view, an incomplete triangle, humid parade, chariot of the untouched realm.
Crimes against nature – in a pure world they would be invisible to me, cloaked in forgiving darkness. Crimes against nature – I point out the birds to her, before they vanish from view, she takes a slow drag from her cigarette and looks the wrong way. Let’s just forget about it. A fortnight later I see leaves draw corners like Byzantine mosaics on another upturned face, and I am silent this time, though my breath catches in my throat —
Girls I’m not allowed to talk about anymore.
A remote island takes on lines and edges in the mist. Hey, it’s in the cards. A premonition hits divine ears again, among the hibiscus trees, smelling sweet. Of the river. Of the bank of the river, of washing clothes in the river, I bury my china plates in the river, let’s go back to the river again tomorrow. I want to see the birds. Do you want to see the birds?
What does this mean?
A snake with no eyes.
Sylvan Lebrun is a student, writer, and musician living in Tokyo, Japan. Her work has been previously published in Up the Staircase Quarterly, CONSTRUCTION, The Fourth River, and Crab Fat Magazine, among others.