I play a dirge
dark as a death wish,
and the snakes come.
Long and smooth
like my own venomous veins,
they are flasks with forked tongues
tipped to my lips
poison for poison.
No snake remains charmed for long
when the moon is out
before the sun has had the grace to set.
No woman hacks a flute from bone
just to die
a sad story at the edge of the river.
There are apples to be gathered.
Tipped to my lips
exchanging poison for poison.