The black snake is dead in the road.
In the rising bands of heat, his head
is gone, or nearly, his body divided
by the flat print of tire. Already
the birds. I have left you and we are
running. What you will remember:
how the small chameleons broke
in my clasp, blood opening like an iris
as they fled the screen porch, shedding
cells, a slender tail. What you take
with you now is what you know of me.
Know everything. Know I never told you
because I wanted you to love me.
When you came upon your parents
in the drawn shade, the nest of their limbs
in love confused you. You stumbled out
onto the porch, waking the wasps beneath
the boards. They lit your ankle in a shower
of sparks, humming, tipped with gold.
I know the scar like a story. Tiresias
loved as a man and woman. What was left
for him but blindness? I don’t know
what has killed the snake as I don’t know
why I killed so many, or tried to,
or thought I did. I let the scavengers
take what they can. I am learning
nothing has a sex. I am learning whomever
we love, we are left this way, halved.