The Snake in Tonle Sap

On Tonle Sap Lake, an orphan boy floats on a metal pail.

A snake hangs on his shoulders as he smiles to a tourist’s camera and charges “one dollah” per click.

Instead, the tourist hands him noodles she bought from a store nearby.

They embrace.

Smiling, the tourist feels the 60 dollars for the boat ride, noodles, and tip for the guide was worth it.

As she leaves, she sees the boy paddle to the store, exchanging noodles for green bills.

On her back, where the boy’s hands landed during their embrace, she feels the sting of a snake’s bite.

Raydon Reyes’ poetry has been published in Philippines Graphic and Paper Monster Press. His fiction has been published in the sci-fi anthology Diaspora Ad Astra.

Photo Credit: Glenn Forbes

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