New Skin

snake.jpg

at dawn,
a garter snake
coils over
rocks and branches,
rubbing the leaves
under his white belly,
sliding over sand
as serpents do. and
I think of him,
how
he patiently
shuffles off the skin,
starting with the lip,
then the eyes
lusting his kind,
breathing
and flicking.
I think of the scales
grown cloudy
loose and torn
on the forest floor,
and how he pulls
over sharp edges
to emerge
as silk,
as
wise.
whatever I know
of proverbs
of patience
                      it is here,
                     circumspect,
                   winding his way
                 to the waters.

Text: Jeffrey Hynds
Illustration: Parastoo Najafi

CultureKaty Togeretz