4/13/10

Cameron Pierce

The Snake People
an excerpt from The Bright Lights Are Killing Me


The black shingles, black stucco, and black, rundown porch struck a cold harmony with the green autumn lawn. In another three months, tucked inside the coats that now dawned around our shoulders, unattached to arms, we would be dead. After Halloween came a time when life picked up a Catholic thrum of melancholy, scorching and then dampening the firewood in our lungs. The pained jubilation of Jeptha spiced our blood, wrinkling us where we'd been smooth before. Our eyes swelled, but they remained weightless as Jupiter. We moved into the house of brambles that stood behind the black house, burying ourselves in the sludge of summer blackberries, blockaded on all sides by an endless tide of trees and thorns. And all the while, the green lawn burned. In another three months, we would be dead. We did not hate each other yet. That came later, after the light poured from the mouths of deer and giant birds made amputees of us. When we died and became snake people, that is when we hated each other. I don't care if you're headless. You must not scream in your sleep every night. I will tell you how the deer waltz with mustached rifles on the roof of the black house. I will tell you how the raccoons are scheming with the clouds. I will tell you the story of our love, if you've forgotten in your headless state. However, you must not scream. You must not sleep.


Cameron Pierce (b. 1988) lives in Portland, OR. He is the author of The Pickled Apocalypse of Pancake Island (forthcoming), The Ass Goblins of Auschwitz (Eraserhead Press, 2009), and Shark Hunting in Paradise Garden (Eraserhead Press, 2008). For bad advice, or if you're just lonely and want someone to read to you, call him at 661-477-6332.

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