Commonly grief a bird but I’ve found it more snake. I try to keep it at arm’s length. Almost invisible when still; perversely fascinating, horrifying when moves. Uncoils through my body, its motion dislodging, plucking, pulling skeins of adjunct selves, collapsing light webs of little concerns. Not quite stranger but not friend. Formidable. To look at is to react. Only manner of transportation is belly along the ground, is winding push, is soft scales practically silent among dead leaves but the starkest, most recognizable shape, a visceral memory, ancestral instinctual authentic. A force unadorned.

Things I learned from my mother:
– Grapefruits are good for headaches
– When you get grapefruit juice in your eye it’s good for your eye
– When you have a guest the first thing is to offer them tea
– When the tea bags cool you can put the tea bags over their eyes to relieve the soreness of tears.

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