by Tyler Gillespie
I find a snake skin on granny’s fence.
Teacher says it’s bad luck
to take as mine,
so I leave it for the ants.
Cross-legged, I sit in her yard
to watch his old body.
I had heard an honest truth
only comes from a snake.
Black line divides dry grass.
I watch snake swallow my pet rabbit.
Beautiful snake, makes an oil ring around
my throat. Again, he sheds his skin
along fence. He smiles and says:
a thing will spoil, but you don’t throw it
out until it’s done.I ask him if he came home.
You can’t go back, so don’t you try.
My snake friend stands and unhinges jaw.
He nods. No teeth. Body bulges
with other men who have taken his offer.
I stand. How will I know when it’s done?
About Tyler Gillespie
Tyler Gillespie‘s most recent work appears or is forthcoming in Brevity, The Rumpus, PANK, Columbia Poetry Review, and Deep South. He’s the co-author of The Awkward Phase, out this fall.