Barefoot

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Snake



Yanbing Wu
16th February 2023



Snake

I stand on the bridge                      looking down.
At the junction of the river bank.
An immense snake is floating.
The tail is towards the shore, the head is hiding in the water.

You only see the body wiggling deep into the river, like when you put the food on the checkout counter at the supermarket. Waiting for the person in front of you, watching the items you’ve picked slowly follow the conveyor belt, finally enter the hands of the cashier with a scanning sound

          ......... di ...........


this person puts the scanned items in front of you and you put them in your bag. The snake is like a conveyor belt without beginning and end.

A constant stream, a constant stream.
Cyan yellowish-brown with black patterns

I was in middle school or in the last year of primary school. One day, I found a long snake skin. It was at my friend’s house, on the rooftop, laying on a wooden board. This rooftop was the only space where we escaped school. The appearance of this snakeskin made the rooftop more desirable and exciting. At the same time, my feelings were mixed with the fear of dangerous unknown animals. I spent many afternoons looking for the snake on the rooftop until I slowly stopped going there and became distant with my friend.

I didn’t find the snake; Instead, I imagined how it came here, traveled through half of the city, passed these buildings, and finally chose the rooftop of my friend’s house. How did she climb up? She left her skin, then moved on to the next place, or did she live on the rooftop all this time and never leave? Did she have a companion? Did she have children? Did she die in the corner of the roof without anyone finding her? Does anyone care about her? Maybe, someday, another child will find her or the eggs she left here. Or was everything just in my head? Maybe I hoped to reach something I didn't know through the snake. And I seem to faintly imagine that I could touch the unknown part alone through this snake.  But, at the end, I did not find her, I only found the traces left.

The snake seems to live forever in the rooftop of my heart, without head and tail.