I formed my life into a gift and still you would not take it

It is easy to spread the serpents of light around the backyard
Until they are less like serpents, and more like horse fodder,
Or very small and short-haired dogs, or the lovers of ankle bones.

Somewhere behind the window, a woman is in waiting.
In the folds of her dress, she fingers the smallest serpent
Massaging its infinite neck. They travel like light, the serpents,

Their long bodies forming an infinite wave, each blink
Like a particulate undulation. Blink. Then infinity.
Blink. Then the waiting. I don't know about you,

Your predilections, the subtle variations in the part
Of your hair. The hem of your coat driven thin
By so many peregrinations, the halting flow of your speech.

I don't need your speech, or the part in your hair.
What I need is a nice slow undulation, a trick that's taught
In "Snake Dancer, the Movie." So many blinking eyes.

Here, take this coat. I've put a serpent in every pocket
So we will never become undone.

Adze Chiodo, though raised in the great state of Texas, spends her time building hiking trails in Maine, Alaska, and several states in between. This fall she will begin the MFA program at Washington University in St. Louis as an Olin Fellow. (

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761