The Vivarium
Lindsey Baker

We stopped by the vivarium because we’d been fighting for weeks.

So we called an unspoken, temporary truce, taking shelter among the stacked cages. Flecks of sawdust blanketed the concrete floor.

We circled the perimeter, pausing to marvel at the kaleidoscopic sheen of a python, the hallucinogenic green of a viper. You said it was hard to believe these colors existed in nature.

Back in the car, I stared silently out the window at the rise and fall of passing streetlights. Rain made a thick Vaseline lens on the glass. Your right hand traveled my leg, summoning goose bumps. I let it stay.

Lindsey Baker is a graduate of UC Berkeley. She lives and writes in Oakland, California.