39 Horses My Mom Loved ONLINE
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Rodger and the Tree of Destiny

Out of the foliage Rodger leaps, spraying shards of emerald foil- cluster bombs of oily pine grenades- shattering and spreading. And then gone, revealing Rodger, stand-squatting, limbs outstretched and bent. Rodger is a spider, a reptillian feline, presented in the dim light, half-unwrapped. He almost hisses. He is vibrating. There are no stars. But there is Rodger, relaxing out of awareness, looking at the sky.

The tree does not see him. Its eyes are straight branches, pressed against its sides so as to be its sides. The tree's trunk is round. It is made of circles measuring each other's circumferences.

If the tree were Rodger, then his neck would be metal and sinking in an arch as he stares at the ground. Acquaintances would remark that he had impeccable posture, almost statuesque, but for that submissive neck, perpetually giving in to invisible forces. They would suggest that he transport himself back in time and pose for a bust so time could make his head fall off and scholars could find him beautiful. But there is Rodger, relaxing out of reverie, transfixed by electric light.

Rodger is a baby, rolling off his mother's slumbering knee, wetting her ankle as he lands in a puddle of thick fluid. He squirms, covering himself in the stuff, rights himself, and then crawls; following a breeze out the front door of his mother's house.

Tumbling, potato-like, down the front steps, he scrapes his cheek but does not feel it. Briefly, his limbs become terrifying beasts, trembling at their own ferocity. He recovers and continues on his way.

Rodger crawls through the night-cold grass, the blades scrape the fluid and replace it with dew. Rodger doesn't care- he's crawling towards a light. A pool of it, thick and buzzing. As if he cares that his cheek is part gone, that his smell has changed, that his fluid is never stable. Rodger doesn't care- he's bathing in a pool of light. He's swimming in the street. He is in the street light.