Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Brenda Hillman


--And the world bent into the wide,
the field of beige and mild forevers
but the snake wanted something else;

I found its skin of stretchy diamonds
and picked it up, so I could keep
one of the two selves. The skin had eyes and the eyes

had skin, all papery before and afterward,
a little cellophane with dirt
around the rim--that's good;

there had been time for it to be one thing
before the world behind the world
called the snake, and the snake went--

© 1993 from Bright Existence, Wesleyan University Press, 1993