Matthew Fash πŸ”ˆ

Slither and Sob

Novella. Blood. Citrus. Circle. Egg. Decanter. Holiday. Flag. Spit.

Stew the snake’s egg. Boil the rattle. Tend the umbra, the place between yolk and blood. Give thanks to the holiday of it all. Fill the decanter, the swirling indigo void, drink. Taste the citrus. Feel the venom.

In the sky, there will be a flag. This is not a banner, not a cloth, but a hand. It might be on fire. It might not. It doesn’t matter. The instructions are the same: flicker, flicker, circle, spit. This will make it right again.

In life, the snake had been a killer. Self-preservation is a force of nature but killing is killing. You know this. You killed the snake. Cracked the shell. Poured its life force down your throat and spit it back on the pages of some novella.

The book is titled How to Move On: An Occult Guide. Chapter One gave you the secrets, but you should have finished. You see, life is a circle of flicker and flicker and spit. Think of Ouroboros, of the snake who swallowed the one thing it could never kill, all the while sobbing.

Author Reading

Yellow No. 2

It’s getting harder to go on,
Anne. Every day another bee
falls from the sky and snakes
boil in their own blood. I’m brewing
as much broth as I can fit into this pot,
seasoned with peppercorn, sage, thyme,
and snakeskin. I’m scared, Anne. What if
none of it is enough? What if this bile yellow
soup can’t heal us, can’t repair the fracture?

We’ll go on, won’t we, Anne? Won’t we?
This is an SOS. A little yellow prayer.

Author Reading

About the Author

Matthew Fash is an Illinois native. They are currently an MFA student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Their work appears in Doubleback Review, Raw Art Review, and Allusions, among others.