Sunday, September 13, 2009

To Assist a Garter Snake in Shedding Her Skin

soak her in tepid water,

place her in damp moss for one-half hour.


humans shed skin cells too,


in tiny pieces.

before i met you, i collected skins

of garter snakes, the feathers of birds.

i kept them in a small wooden box

with the gold braid my mother cut

from the nape of my neck.

what does the garter snake lose

in shedding her skin? (pieces of herself)

i needed more than a mattress of moss.

one morning you showed me how to dance,

palm to palm in zig zags across the carpet.

i thought about bald eagles in courtship-

how they grab each other’s talons and tumble-

surely, they lose a feather or two.

hair is easy going: you cut your long curls,

i save a lock in a wooden box-

nobody really notices how humans shed skin

but last night, i lost my last skin cell

somewhere in a dark corner of the bar

while your fingers were in my hair,

i couldn’t save it.


after one-half hour,

the snake will shed her skin.

watch her relish her bare intimacy.

No comments:

Post a Comment