The Snake - Poem by Matthew Sweeney
He posted her a snake instructed not to bite her.
It came in a long cardboard tube, pricked all over.
It was yellow and black, with red squares and diamonds
to go with the yellow cat, the black terrapin, the red
flowers of the cacti that were the feelers of her flat.
The cat did well to be wary of this cold-blooded slitherer,
this swaying, tongue-waving dancer who followed its
mistress from room to room, as his wriggly ambassador.
She did not know it wouldn't bite her, and winced
when it brushed across her feet but when this happened
regularly, when she woke to find it lying on her body
or coiled around her neck, she began to accept it, want it,
come home early, saying she had to feed her pets.
He posted her a second snake instructed to bite her.
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