after finding a snake in his garage. Ted has lived in Houston most of his life but has managed to avoid snakes. Ted has colleagues in DC who claim to have been bitten by rattlers, but they have all their fingers, so Ted is suspicious. He’s seen things. Mostly on Google images, but he’s seen them. Ted eyes the snake. It’s coiled up by the garden hose and Ted wouldn’t have noticed it except garden hoses don’t usually have shiny dark eyes or flickering devil tongues. Ted has never understood how Eve could listen to a snake—of all things—in Genesis. He certainly doesn’t trust reptiles. Even the geckos that sneak into the house every once in a while. Once he went to grab his coat and a tiny lizard jumped out of the sleeve and he didn’t yelp so much as shriek which, if you ask Ted, was a reasonable reaction. Ted checks his watch—animal control should have been here ten minutes ago. It’s not like Ted doesn’t have more pressing things to deal with than babysitting this God-forsaken snake. This snake that is definitely staring at him. A lot. Finally a van pulls up and a grubby hipster steps out onto the driveway. Before even greeting Ted, the guy walks into the garage and says, “Hey there little fella,” Ted clears his throat. “You weren’t scared of this guy, were you?” the guy says. “Just a garter snake. Probably just wanted somewhere shady to sit. Maybe a drink from your hose there.” Ted mumbles something about his kids and wanting to be careful. They’re young girls, after all. The guy shrugs and uses his bare hands to gently place the snake in a plastic container before leaving the property. Ted goes inside and shakes out his one pair of western boots, just in case. He wipes his hands on his pants, feeling strangely dirty. He starts the shower running, hot, and texts his assistant to hold his calls for another hour or so.
E. Kristin Anderson is a poet, Starbucks connoisseur, and glitter enthusiast living in Austin, Texas. She is the editor of Come as You Are, an anthology of writing on 90s pop culture (Anomalous Press), and Hysteria: Writing the female body (Sable Books, forthcoming). Kristin is the author of nine chapbooks of poetry including A Guide for the Practical Abductee (Red Bird Chapbooks), Pray, Pray, Pray: Poems I wrote to Prince in the middle of the night (Porkbelly Press), Fire in the Sky (Grey Book Press), 17 seventeen XVII (Grey Book Press), and Behind, All You’ve Got (Semiperfect Press, forthcoming). Kristin is an assistant poetry editor at The Boiler and an editorial assistant at Sugared Water. Once upon a time she worked nights at The New Yorker. Find her online at EKristinAnderson.com and on twitter at @ek_anderson.