Snakes

10/27/09

obverse to breeze,
the curtains wince.
                                            fine-nerved

linen, and in
the scoop-motion
                                 of a stitch

                                            a constellation

of tense pattern passes
into a single
hole.

                                 outside a boy lights carbon snakes
                                            which evolve together as one tear

                                                       catches another on a face



                                 (a snake is anything that curls

up inside
its own recoil
                                            and folds

like the feet of a wicked witch

                                                       under any house that falls on it.



Michelle Gil-Montero is a graduate of Brown University and, in 2007, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her poems have appeared recently in Colorado Review, Third Coast, and Cincinnati Review. She also translates contemporary Latin American poetry, and her translations have appeared in Conjunctions, Circumference, Cipher, Jacket, and other journals.