Before the car door flattened him, the bike messenger swore he'd never drive. Now his Honda Accord idles in stalled traffic. Stitched along a line of brake lights, his car is a single scale on a steel serpent that straddles the horizon and swallows its own tail. As greenhouse heat gathers, freon cools his skin.
Concrete blood has seized the American Uroboros. A final spasm injects into its veins synthetic stone, crushed seashells, and shale. Time passes. The serpent lies silently, scales tough as bark on a petrified fir. No parasites feast on the stone flesh. Bodies trapped behind windshields have long since dissolved.
A vulture circles, drawn not by the stench—there is none—but by the sudden shape, coiled like a firework snake, carbon black and stiff, one vast and legless trunk. Wind shear shapes the sands beneath—ripples wavelets, dunes of dust.
This triptych first appeared in Dark Mountain issue #1.