Oct/Nov 2003 Poetry


by Kenneth Rosen

Photo-Art by Tara Gilbert-Brever



Dead wood and soil twist into lengths
            that serve and shape
Things' divinity: the way Moses' staff
            touched dirt, and then became
A serpent with powers of God. To make
            a holy snake is easy:

Whittle the twigs and branches
            off a limb, douse it
With gasoline, and set it on fire. Or else
            scare a dinosaur into a crack
Of time so tight it'll sacrifice its arms
            and legs into a snake's

Pure fury and fear. Ramses the Great's
            wife, bound to obedience
Like a mummy to eternity, once spit
            in his face when he
Bent for a kiss. The god-king wiped off
            her saliva, licked his lips,

Snake aura enkindling in him a yearning
            to autonomously disappear
And bite poisonously, the pair of them
            helpless as Adam and Eve
Beginning their dynasties before becoming
            mere human again.


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