This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Elizabeth Vignali, is from Lararium by Ray Ball, released by Variant Lit in 2020.
The unsuspecting bullsnake uncoils,
suns itself on the dark asphalt
of a quiet county road at the edge
of the Panhandle. My father spots it,
brakes sharply. He darts out the door –
a hook and an old faded pillowcase
in hand. A new specimen
bagged by the herpetologist.
And I am made Medusa. Daughter
of a Gorgon. Snakes always my company,
always in my head. Even now that I am all
leather and musk, I cannot shed their skins.
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