Skin

1 September 2013

just as she begins to speak, a blade
of molten light lays down to bleach

an airless veranda’s feathered teak.
the first for weeks to breach this cage

of crooked laths. beneath the tongues
of drooling palms, a flemish flake of brass-

necked snake unwinds itself to hunt
the warmth. her sheath of scales made

shabby by the moult of growth, the chore
of metamorphosis. i hear the hiss of her

cris de coeur; the ache of her costume
nipping at the ribs. a snake in her prime

abandoning her skin, shaking it off
like the gesture of belonging.

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