Jaw For Its Own Tail

Not all snakes are Ouroboros  – stop using them in your
sadder stanzas to mean unending loops,
you are mistaken
the greek myth, the arcade game
this is not nature, not natural
no belly-down set of fangs unhinges
its jaw for its own tail
the closest a serpent’s body comes to circle
is the snap backwards into sickle
the weaponing at
the white-heat of a boy’s hand on its scales
or the redflood of hooves in the impossible dark.

Instead, I think of the common arcs
when I think of my fear turning in on itself
the near unbend of Tofino surf,
the unmathed edge of Saturn’s rings,
the clownlip in the flyfish hook

a narrowing, a narrowing focus
with no real answer to colour
the sudden chip of tooth,
the quick gasp of the vacuum.

My fear is the cabinet spider sleeping
through the kiss of the coming shoe
the shelf you are building, the corner for trophies,
the coming years, the paper
the thin sound of waiting

your postcards in the blue bin
your shadow refusing to follow you here
that I won’t get used to your body
that I will get too used to your body
my odourless venom

feeling, at all
feeling it all
at once

my fear is the pitched mouth slapping
the leaving seasons
the calendar whisper
you missed your chance.

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