Like a bird swallowing pebbles to add to its bag of teeth, I am taking my dosage, a series of small disasters. The imbricated scales of a woman with the skin of a snake whisper against my fur, my lucky foot. I must save her from the clay-thick blade of the hoe. Her tongue is a verb, her belly is a burial mound, her knuckles are soft as the heads of plush dolls. She sets a trap for the sun, which wants nothing more than an eyelid it can close. Any jar will do and any minced knob of ginger. Rain from the nearest cloud. No honey, or the buds will burst into leaf, and what would you do then, oh walking stick?

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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. I think I might title this “Prince Andrei’s Dream Before Seeing the Oak in Leaf.”

    (All in all, I think I’m glad to be a Pierre, though.)

    This is wonderful, you can run it through your fingers like a rosary, bead after bead.


    1. I know that’s a W&P reference, but it’s been too many decades — I don’t even remember who was who. (Was Pierre the one who converted to freemasonry?) Anyway, thanks!


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