(For Marg and Laurice, snake charmers extraordinaire)
Like the Burmese priestess
kissing the cobra
I must never take my eyes off
that steely, staring, coal-black serpent eye
Iest the fangs swaying in that unborn smile
in the split-second
that contains my salvation or my undoing.
Lips always poised between heaven and hell,
I advance on the servant of knowledge
hooded with an assumed mastery,
that hood branded with Nature's tattoo:
Omega, the end
and that flickering tongue that reads my body
temperature could cut it cold.
Cold as the smooth-bumpy reptilian snout
upon which I lightly lay
the final kiss.
The poet wishes to acknowledge Valley Micropress in whose pages this poem first appeared.