From my pocket notebook. One morning last week.

I dream of snakes swimming through the air, flinging themselves at me like starving kittens, clinging to my chest & biting my male nipples with fangs too weak to pierce the skin. I wake to fine flakes, widely spaced, sinking like diatoms to the murky bottom of the sky. Three squirrels are following a fourth through the trees at the woods’ edge, a slow-motion chase up & down trunks & across swaying nets of black birch twigs. Female gray squirrels come into heat for eight hours every January. The chase is not to the swift, but to the persistent. Whenever she stops, the closest male inches forward with his snout low against the branch, trembling. I sit watching with my coffee, glad not to be a squirrel. I’m wearing a brand-new turtleneck shirt — black like all the others — & twist & twitch in its unfamilar embrace. The ground slowly acquires a nurse’s uniform.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. All really good, but the diatoms will stay floating in my consciousness every time I see those big slow flakes.


  2. ” The chase is not to the swift, but to the persistent.”


  3. I have been enjoying the recesses of your shadow cabinet.


  4. Thanks for the comments.

    mb – I’m glad. Kind of you to say so.


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