It is the warm season,
the bones of her prey lie scattered along her gut,
delicate tombstones of birds and mice.
This morning her eyes grow milky
as she coils on the green-gray rock,
The sun’s radiance
illuminates her last glimpse of light
and burnishes the gray-brown scales
arranged like stones
along her lean frame.
Obediently her body undulates, opens itself
circle within circle
mimicking the rocky mouth of a cave,
where she slumbered through the cold season,
where he found her swimming toward him
like the meandering current of a stream.
In the cave where they nested, where she laid their eggs,
each egg kept its secret,
each egg a universe inside.
By evening her eyes clear;
she uncoils further on her throne
tenderly rubbing her face against
the rock’s rough surface, loosening
the skin’s hold around her mouth and head.
Crawling out of her old skin
she turns it inside out
leaving her vacant eyes staring in on nothing.