Thursday, August 29, 2019

Snake Song

It tries to warn me, rattling and hissing
But I stretch my fingers toward it anyways

There is a fist that plows through the waves,
that knuckles through the sand
throwing up huge plumes of dust
and salty spray
that settles like a mist
to glaze my skin
eventually calcifying
into an atom-thin shell
that crackles softly with every gesture

Something is rippling closer
An undulating laugh, the spiky gleam
of evanescent crests 
There is a twisting ribbon of air
That sinks its fangs into my lungs
and fills my throat with smoke

And they were everywhere
And you were not
And I found myself writhing with them
Hurling my body again and again
against the ground
as if trying to beat you out of me

I replaced its head with my fist
I slid my fist into my mouth
I wrapped my teeth around the match
and struck it against my tongue

And the brush and the broom and the brambles
And the sun-baked signs warning of flood
in the middle of the desert
And the tent-poles of bones
with no skin to stretch over them
And the pyramid of molars
And the concentric circles
of cicada husks

And the canvas sacks
and the forked sticks
The hoods with no holes
The withered branch, the coiled rope
Water balloons launched
from dowsing rod slingshots

The dusty riverbed carved into my arm
Its gentle curves carrying us
lethargically towards the rocks
with nothing reaching from the banks
to grab us, for us to grab onto.
No bridge stretching its rickety song
over the expanse

My limbs have all dropped off.
A hollow beneath a stone becomes my home.
We sink our fangs into this life
and in return, it swallows us whole

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