I want to apply the word to her;
structure it like scaffolding
against her body.
Snake —
like a slithering threat
over the toe of my boot,
bent on poisoning me.
But there is nothing.
She is softer than she said.
More malleable.
Led by the neck
with hands
made for harboring.
But harboring what?
like a treat held flat in the palm —
I know it by the way she’s been trained to sit.
I wanted her to be smarter.
I wanted her to see
— but the truth is not so appetizing.
She has bitten me more than once
for trying to offer it.
And God!
I know I should know better
but still,
I keep on hoping…


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