mise en scene by Theresa Williams

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artwork by Theresa Williams


dear guido,


thank you for the snake envelope. your use of gold

paint restores that reptile to his kingly nature. your

sympathy for snakes is outstanding.


click to start the game. a woman submits to the

moment and so we are confronted with a revengeful

god, you said. elongate, legless reptile lacking eyelids

and external ears; you’re right, why blame him.


we live within a gallery of snakes. they eat food,

grow, shed and occasionally run into themselves.

their skulls are full of joints.


highly mobile jaws. once when i was a child, a snake

climbed through the chicken wire, swallowed an egg,

and then he was too big to climb out.


my mother killed him, though we always had more

eggs than we could eat.


AUTHOR BIO: Theresa Williams lives in Northwest Ohio with her husband and two Boston Terriers named Buddha and Sweet Pea. Her novel, The Secret of Hurricanes was a finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize. “mise en scene” is part of a longer work called “the eternal network,” which is what the mailart community calls itself.