[Ballerina in a Death’s Head, Salvador Dali, 1939]
The recognition that white snakes were arms
of women–mother’s nurture, winding blench–
rose through your skin insidious as steam,
uncoiled from long submersion, seeping out
of smug protected memory. You sit
complacent, feel her fold her arms in rolls
of dough around your sacrificial skin
Your heart confesses murmurs Me! Me!
It babbles scarlet, braids the twining thought
into contrition wrapped as this, you can’t
untangle it. The knot is tied and fear
flips over, You can’t think where
you ought to run.