The SnakeBecause she has no arms,
she embraces him with her body,
crawls the distance of his flesh
like a light-starved vine.
Because she has no legs,
she coils through his thoughts,
like a root or a shadow
growing wild in his mind.
Because she has no words,
her tongue splits in anger.
She hisses in the dark,
shakes a rattle in his face.
Because he has no choice,
he bears both fang and kiss,
comes to crave her silver tourniquet,
savor venom in his veins.
Because she has no heart,
she sheds her skin to depart.
She exits through his fingers,
leaving only her empty sleeve.--- Christine Boyka Kluge
©2003 Blackbird: An Online Journal
of Literature and the Arts
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA 23284