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The Watersnake

In the South Mountain along a road
that goes from an ocean to a great lake
not far from my parents’ home
I walked up to a water snake
whose lower end a car had crushed
revealing in blood its smooth intestines
where a cluster of flies flew up and remained
filling themselves.

It hissed, mouth pinkest flesh
flayed and reached out
trying to leave itself
still, now moving
tip of its nose along the road
mouth so silent, open
I thought it was dead
till it twisted closed unclosing
constant agitation without rest.

I thought, “You are a poem,”
and crushed its head with a warm flat stone.


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