1. The snake is almost liquid now, merging with the earth, sunken and rank.
2. It had pulled itself into an infinity loop, looped twice, tucked its head under one of the inner curves of its body, and stopped living. I touched it, wanting it to untwine and disappear. The snake’s body was so organized, intentional. Do all animals do this when we have the luxury of a quiet expiration? Why did I think it should have been in disarray? Because this is how I have seen them before – smashed on the road, beaten, stilled in flight?
3. I wrote to you about the convergence. That was years ago now, before you disappeared so suddenly and completely I thought you were dead. It was a love letter. At the time it felt raw and erotic to me, to tell you about the snakes skimming the warm stones, hidden, then surfacing.
I have seen it only once, not that day, years before, a writhing ball of snakes that disturbed the leaves, the same rustle as a bird’s hunting. I pushed the caked sheet of leaves back with a stick and saw them in flagrante. They impressed me viscerally.
When I reread what I had written later, you were already gone again, not dead but irresponsible, drunk, accusatory, desperate. I composed against the fact of you, flayed you in mythological terms with my imagination, excavated your tragic flaws. I told no more excuses for you. And the snakes felt reduced to snakes, nature organizing itself according to its order, no messages for me.