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Snakeskin

November 2, 2019

Tissued ribbon. Something flayed         

in the dust, the blinding burn of sun,         

scorched bougainvillea petals,        

hot red flares of hibiscus, scuttles        

of lizards. Frayed rope flung        

at my feet. Some unseen muscle         

has sloughed itself free        

even its eyes – yes – holding it        

delicately (friable as flaking stone)        

the small narrow head holds        

two sockets, clear plastic capsules 

snapped open – how can this be, 

peeling your eyes away? 

Imagine the seconds

before hardening, glistening

like calf-slicked after-birth, 

a sudden hot wind flinging dust

in your eyes, fumbling away

gritted? No. You would close 

them, risk temporary blindness

for clear vision, feeling not seeing

your  molten skin set, seal you in

like a sheath before, fluid,

utterly new, eyes open

on a just-born morning 

every flower ignited and 

in a sudden flick and ripple,

leave your body behind.

 

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