Snake Song

Shauna Osborn

          smell the earth

          with a flick of tongue

                    creep along

                    stomach full of fur & teeth

                                               scales begin to rip

                                               & blood drains itself

                                                on the talons of an eagle

                                                              he moves you

                                                              toward that familiar beak

                                                                              pisi1 breath

                                                                             & blank black orifice

                                                                                            jutting from his white feathered


                                                                                            you land on the cactus

                                                                                            red petals blushing out of the

                                                                                            space of struggle

                                                                                                            pisi mi?aru2


                                                                                                            spit venom

                                                                                                            curve your body back

                                                                                                            toward musty white


                                                                                                             & strike

he forces a guttural tongue

inside your back

gurgles a reply

        after sensations fade

        bloody scales drop over

        your deadened eyes

               it’s happened before

                          will happen again

                           [everyday a re-enactment

                          of the creation story]

                                          & each time

                                          you will forget

                                                         awaken in the Sonoran desert

                                                         each day to give birth

                                                                              to pass egg after slimy egg

                                                                               from body to dank earth

                                                                                                & later find part of yourself

                                                                                               encased in an eagle’s entrails

  1. rotten infected festered

  3. becoming infected


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