The Snakes Came Back

︎︎︎ Lora Mathis
︎ NOV 29, 2021

Consider a spotlight      Point it to the grass
There, where the two snakes are winding together

Their bodies luminous like thread stitched in and out
Their scales looping into one song

The grass flush with cold night
The sparks picking up under the moonlight


Scene 1: Two women across a plastic table       smashed clean
Slipping off jealousy and smiling politely
One orders tofu the other says I too walked through the night
and did not return

Scene 2:
I wear her face under grim overhead light
She has hers on too — brighter
Together we tell the story of a star


While standing in your dad’s kitchen waiting for the kettle to scream
I see two snakes weaving through the dry grass
Their scales winding together in the lush moonlight
Bits of sparks shaving off their scales



               cut !



The snakes came back last night
I tried to feed them    street names, corner houses
They slid through the grass, refusing to look at me

To drive in the direction of the past
To listen to the kettle calling and hear only hissing

Lora Mathis is a poet, artist, and student living in Oakland, by way of San Diego. @lora__mathis