by Kristin Agudelo

I once met a snake with a brown paper tongue
grocery bag full of meanings,
not all of them sound.

He slipped up beside me,
hissing love poems so fragile
they weren’t there at all.

His silence punctured the buzzing of thought.
Mindrattle stilled,
I shed my illworn self.

After a time, he grew familiar,
entwined in my hair,
tickle of parseltongue in my ear.

He rode me like a chariot,
and when presented with a forked path,
I took them both.

After eons,
I arrived at the center from two different directions
and found him there again, biting his own tail.