the interminable crime of every bite taken

You might find the scale of my skin, shrivelling under western sun, south of the hole; I have slid out and in.

My changes shape and curl against themselves, compassed by time and the interminable crime of every bite taken.

Venom.

Don’t be mistaken by this hibernation I choose.

I prefer to hide in the darkness where I contemplate what to keep, what to lose and yet despite the belly I have warmed; I am cold.

I would never intentionally hurt you.

I am scared by the vibration of your ever approaching trek.

I can feel you.

In this paddock of long winded grass and dry cracked earth, there is a wreck of a car, deserted and burnt. Left by someone who gave up.

My second recluse; it is of great use to me and perhaps an eye sore for anyone who dares to venture this far.

You are miles and I am wild and best left undisturbed.

During autumn, I hear children playing. They climb onto the rust of body and whack sticks against its chasis and jump up and down and laugh and take pride in the mess found.

YAH! YAH! YAH!

This old car is my haven.

So I scurry away, my instinct won’t allow me to stay, it is primal.

I slither across droughted ground, ignoring each other hole found.

I know where I want to be.

My snaking passes foxes and birds and the decayed skulls from a farmers lost herd. I remember him howling with devastation moments before he died.

At least he tried.

Right?

I retreat to a disused barn, where two people once made love; twice.

And I wait.

I hunt mice in the hay and gulp swallow my prey, whilst the bravest warn their kind; stay away.

I am misunderstood.

As Winter approaches, I return to my earth, into the fold; the place of my cold blooded birth and I become a circle of myself.

Again.

There is a chance I won’t survive, I am evolution not suicide, yet it all feels like dying dear.

© ryan

the interminable crime of every bite taken

PJ Ryan

Melbourne, Australia

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