his mighty jaw,
from his fangs
as he wraps himself
around my throat
he’s squeezing the life out of me
but i can’t seem
to feel a thing
even as he compresses
the bones in my neck
and i can feel them
crunching against each other
and grating against
my spinal cord
i relish in the pain
because i know that
i am powerless against his grip
he whispers to me,
his forked tongue
against the tip of my ear,
bringing with it
the shame and doubt
that shadows me
wherever i go
those slitted eyes
stare into my own,
they’re the last thing i see
before my vision
fades to darkness
We thought you were the god you claimed to be
willing to share with us your mastery of the arts and crafts
in ways we had never known ourselves.
We thought you were Venus
an ethereal beauty
born anew from the sea.
We thought you were deserving
of the titles we gave you
as a patron, as a master of the wind and sky,
as an ally to our rain and a brother to our ancestors.
But you just so happened to have come here
when the true Precious Twin
was to make his return on the year of the Reed.
At the very beginning,
we made fools of ourselves by offering our hands,
only to have holes bitten through them
by your venomous weapons.
We had prepared a welcoming speech,
but quickly realized that your hissing laughter
was at our "primative" dress
and not for our friendliness.
You became our awaited Boundary-Maker
but divided us
by our abilities as servants
and the color of our skin
not by the earth and heavens.
You yourself were void
of the quetzal's feathers and coatl's scales
your shell-white frame indicating danger
like that of a dart frog's own vibrance.
You took our jewels that shown
as bright as your unforgiving emerald eyes
casting death with no resurrection upon our land.
You painted our fallen stone cities with our blood,
then turned back across the ocean
to tell of our own savagery
for "blasphemous" sacrifice.
Why would a deity of ours oppose his own faith
by bringing missonaries of an unfamiliar god to us?
Why would he take away our women
when he already lusts for his own blood?
Why would he force us to adorn his vessels
in our gold and torquoise,
but set us on fire instead?
Why would he use the light
of his own blessed morning star for such conquest,
considering it all civilized
in comparison to our ways of life?
the descendant of this unnecessary abuse,
look at your country's wealth and power to this day,
I now know of how these riches crossed the sea
after our homeland was constricted
in the jaws of a merciless snake of a different kind.
Sawtoothed scales shift in the sand.
Black diamonds ring her body in bands.
Her sinuous body coils and straightens.
Punishing the poorly-placed hand.
Cold-blooded and low.
She viciously strikes the fatal blow.
With narrowed eyes and forked tongue thrusting.
Predation is all that she knows.
Keep your eyes on the ground ahead.
Listen for the rattles, watch for the sheds.
When into the viper's domain you tread.
One off step and you'll find yourself dead.
I was caught in his iron claws
Struggling hard to just breathe.
But he was so strong.
I was helpless.
Everything was his tyranny
He was adamant
Sucking my life bit by bit
I was about to lose
It occurred to me
Just because I am a daughter in an Asian country
And he is my father.
No why the hell I should obey
But I am safe from my anaconda.
It's worth it
There was a small snake in my house. It was hiding behind the couch. I try to let it outside through the window in the living room, but it wouldn't go. I hate things that slither.
It moves very fast to the kitchen. I try to follow him. There is some bread baking in the oven. The snake goes inside it. I turn off the oven and carefully open it. I am astonished: several snake skins lay beside the perfectly baked loaf of bread. One is red, one is purple and the other one is blue. The snake has vanished.
I wake up.
It was there as I stood in the produce ailse, choosing between Honeycrisp and Fuji. The slithering sensation of hopelessness awakening, squirming, squeezing just a little tighter. Again, in the car. I passed a billboard along the highway, advertising a funeral home. Will I choose that one? Will I even choose, or will I let my family decide on those details once I'm gone. Some say it is better for the grieving to have something to do.
It was born (no, hatched, I guess, snakes come from eggs, right?) even before the appointment with the oncologist. Sliding silently into my brain and growing. A lost train of thought here, a forgotten name, a moment when I couldn't remember why I had walked into a room. I went to my family doctor after I couldn't think of my son's name for a full hour. His face was grim. He referred me to "the best cancer doctor in the region", and away we went.
Sometimes it is still and silent, just a heavy weight inside, sleeping between meals. Other times it is wild and angry, thrashing about, biting with venom that dissolves my memories and functioning, feasting on all that is me.
I'm doing chemo and radiation. Poisoning myself and the snake, a marathon race of survival where one will die and the other will only almost die. I find myself subconsciously touching my bald head at times. Not vanity, really, just missing my old look. The snake touches everything.
I am not winning this race. I know it. Sometimes I think the snake knows, too. Not that I'm not trying. Maybe there is another winning.
I chose Honeycrisp, by the way. Fuji is cheaper, but I love the flavor and crunch of the Honeycrisp. I don't know if I'll be able to keep it down. But damn if I'm not going to try.