Watching Swallow Feels Like This

by Zachary Vito

dream sequence by Christine Shan Shan Hou

i.

You’re in a new library. New to you and newly built. It is very, very bright inside. You find a seat on some contemporary chair and know within seconds you’ll never get comfortable.

You’re reading the ungainly hybrid novel that your ambitious book club has selected. An hour into reading, a stranger walks by, yanks the book out of your hand, and tosses a different one into your lap.  Startlingly, the new book is full of the same characters from your previous read, but the writing is less striving. It’s readable. You’re glad of the new book, the lesser challenge. But you still feel cheated.

ii.

A funny joke with a Holocaust punch line.

iii.

Your date walks into the lobby wearing a ruthless new suit tailored to perfection for them by a Korean brand no one will stop talking about, but from whom no one actually owns anything. Coming towards you, their movements are like clean black lines on a fresh canvas. 

But later, when they begin to undress, buttons loosening and zippers being released from duty, everything begins to slacken and bulge. The garment now forgotten on the floor, your eyes travel up and down their naked animal frame. Such fuss for all the same parts just in different shapes and sizes. But still, is this what you expected?


Zachary Vito is a screenwriter working in Toronto.