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A Rattlesnake, I Am
( / Midwest)

A Rattlesnake, I Am

Try this,
stand on one foot and tell me
that you wanted this, hop on
one leg and speak from your heart.
Or,
better yet, say nothing, but tell me the story
you wanted.
I'm listening this time, even though I didn't then.

I had dreams in my ears, I had a drink, I had
two drinks. I wrote this off as a means to
an end.

The cold nights curled
like a rattlesnake in the back
of an old car, rusting away
around your bones, hearing
a sigh, wanting to warm you.
But I was cold blooded, I'm
still cold blooded and there
was nothing warm enough
for you until
the sun came up.

Then you told me there was, another, a child
and I wanted to ask you if you've seen blue,
(because I didn't know what else
to say) , and maybe
real blue, not that ocean, or sky
not that marble, or even, your eyes. Definitely
not those.
And now you. Your mind. It's wandering.
and wondering.
And I'm still a rattlesnake with
cold blood and on long nights
I blink my eyes, my tongue writhes.
My skin is no longer the skin
I was in when you knew me.
I shed it long ago, left it
near some rocks on the
south side of the largest
mountain I knew.

There was sun
and warmth and I still shed
my skin, as often as I
can. I scrape it off with questions
cold as dawn, I'm here
looking up
and isn't it still a mystery
how ugly things can happen
under a blue
sky.

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