"Snakeskin" by Liz Beasely

Clouds thin into form: a hawk
pulling a tail of rings—beads
of an abacus, the mathematics
of light—a lengthening spine,
snakeskin no longer inhabited.
All day I’m giving a name
for what isn’t there. Yet somewhere
we’ve left our likeness, the hollow
shapes of us. Even though the snake
has slipped into the shade,
the shed skin, deceptively whole,
hidden in the sun-flecked grass,
remembers what it once held.


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