Prose and Poetry from Web del Sol


The Snake Charmer

Covered in long-bellied babies
slithering over my breast,
umbilical bouquet, deliberate caress--
as if I their mother, losing

and they estranged, pining.
My swamp sweet where I shed
as they do. Like St. Christina, furnaced, red--
adders upon her, sipping sweat.

She understood what St. Patrick could
not, as he sent them away, rivers
of scales into the sea. Traverse
me, little chthonic ones,

guarders of helbane, tropane.
Divide my hair like a comb,
make a nest of womb.
Do your double--

helix dance sequence in
this sequined hide.
Coil and spring, as bride
and beloved, sweet talking:

voices sibilant, tinged with lament,
in childhood prayers I hear
the strange words of stranger darlings
dear and sour in my ear.