The Eyes Are Looking
All the eyes are looking. The woman looks from the couch at the many animals and plants in the jungle around her. What kind of world do they have here? she wonders, crossing bare legs before her. She sets an arm over the couch back and takes in the scene eagerly. A lioness stares at her from the ferns. What is she, reclining in that golden curve? the tawny creature wonders. I've never encountered another such creature. Close by, a snake studies the woman from among the plants. Too curious, he thinks as he poises upright on his pink belly and stretches forward. Does she walk on her legs? Or does she slither like me?
Elsewhere, other animals look too. The elephant amid the dark trees has an eye on both her and us. What might they mean looking on us here? he thinks. And who is she, lying out by the tall plants, turning her head everywhere? He curls his trunk as if he would put these questions aloud. The bird, poised in the orange tree, gives our group a close study. So many people out there, she thinks, black wings tucked in closely, keeping her profile to us. Who might they be? Why have they come? Monkeys crouch in the sweep of branches around the bird, gazing intently, too. What strange creatures there, the dark-furred one muses. They look and look. They never get their fill of it. His cousin in the orange tree thinks, The people are very different. They come in many sizes and colors. And they're wrapped in even more colours. What a great mix they are! Near at hand, the lion amid the tall flowers’ glares. What do those creatures out there want? he thinks. Don't they see this is our home? They'd better watch out if they would take care.
Amid the many animals and plants, a dark-skinned man plays on a wooden flute. He fingers its holes intently and sees that we give him much attention. He plays on, as if to make the charm last. Yet his music pours forth unheard by us across the divide. What might his melody sound like? we wonder, a smile at our lips. The woman, who can hear, doesn't turn from him once.
Norbert Kovacs lives and writes in Hartford, Connecticut. He loves visiting art museums, especially the Met in New York. He has published stories recently in Blink-Ink, The Ekphrastic Review, and MacQueen's Quinterly. His website: www.norbertkovacs.net.
The Ekphrastic Review
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