Flayed Skin Sistine
Here the casing is held, not in punishment,
but as evidence of “shed”. In the way a Rat-snake
splits at the jaw to unwind around low cactus thorns
and bend its two black bulbs free, alive
from under the milk opal eye-skins.
Repeat in oil-stung brow mantra:
A healthy snake peels at every scale joint.
A healthy snake escapes an inverted whole,
tongue to tail tip.
Amanda Gaye Smith