in my dream, only the rattlesnakes are dangerous
on the boat ride the tour guide had a monkey that
yanked and pulled on the rattles of the snakes
draped over thick branches
hanging from an invisible ceiling
the trees were shedding,
like I remember from our hike through the Ho Rain Forest.
You reminded of me of this yesterday
in a desperate plea not to give up on us.
in the boat I was cautious of the serpents
I was frightened by their rattlers
I was charmed by their quick moments
they lunged for my body lustfully
I wondered how tight the coil could be around
my ribs whether the snake would release before
I had a chance to take a final breath.
would the serpent’s squeeze leave me limp
like the right side of my mother’s body?
the tour guide said only the rattlesnakes were dangerous.
“you can tell them apart from the others because they are
fatter and aggressive,” willing to lunge at passer-byes if they
thought they had the chance to coil around the heart.
You mocked my fear as I ducked and cowered
each time the serpents drew near.
Though you swatted them for me anyway,
you had yet to realize I had already been bitten.
19 June 2015