Every Snake Needs a Place to Hide

Kathleen Hellen

I might have acted as the violence of language 
had commanded. With strike-speed struck
your saddled stick, eight inches balling in a fist,
your heart exploding. I might have trapped you, 
slid cardboard under muscles squirting musk, 
dumped you at the curb, where a passing 
truck might have crushed you.

Why and why, your question coiling,
after the meteorite had dug its hole beside 
the palm and avocado. After the rains came,
I might have rescued you from myth, redacted 
genesis, the Moses trick. 

Author Bio: 

Kathleen Hellen is the author of the collection Umberto’s Night, winner of the Jean Feldman Poetry Prize, and two chapbooks, The Girl Who Loved Mothra and Pentimento. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Letters and Commentary, The Massachusetts Review, The Nation, North American Review, Poetry Daily, Poetry East, Prairie Schooner, the Sewanee Review, Witness, and elsewhere. Awards include the Thomas Merton poetry prize, the H.O.W. Journal poetry prize, and the Washington Square Review Poetry Prize.