A snake in the grass,
she said, How apt, I thought—its hissing head
then again severed, all picture-windowed,
again, these years later: torqued & blade-flung from
that summer’s mown whirr; crassly
horked & blood gartered—briefly, ungainly—along the glared panes
of spent youth’s two-stroke take on what
conjured nostalgia might conclude was at stake, might
recommend to give up, by way of suggestion.
A field work, this sort of scaled laundry
list. On how memory moults, sheds its skin; on how narrative
arcs plan revolts—overthrow their own terms
of reference & begin to eat their own tails. (The gist?
These circuitous breakroom asides have us, now, all attention; we’re rapt,
well-charmed & regaled.)
There are times
recollection’s a resurrection of nothing
but harms: a small forked-tongued thing, a split skull
forlornly suspended by slick ligatures of its own
sudden lace leaking across the once-pristine face of the house
you think you grew up in. Times
it’s a guillotined snake. An uneasy whole—a crude bifurcation;
decorum’s last-minute, unplanned vacation—but
no longer a something we’re mssing: a few feet away, the rest of it
lies, lawn-essed in place, unspooling & torn.
Florid exegesis gone meta-. For though hemic
& strewn, this butcher’s best guess is a now-cooling violence: A mistake. In
the past. A thing best left
as is. Just
a snake, in the grass.