Tiresias

The black snake is dead in the road.
In the rising bands of heat, his head

is gone, or nearly, his body divided
by the flat print of tire. Already

the birds. I have left you and we are
running. What you will remember:

how the small chameleons broke
in my clasp, blood opening like an iris

as they fled the screen porch, shedding
cells, a slender tail. What you take

with you now is what you know of me.
Know everything. Know I never told you

because I wanted you to love me.
When you came upon your parents

in the drawn shade, the nest of their limbs
in love confused you. You stumbled out

onto the porch, waking the wasps beneath
the boards. They lit your ankle in a shower

of sparks, humming, tipped with gold.
I know the scar like a story. Tiresias

loved as a man and woman. What was left
for him but blindness? I don’t know

what has killed the snake as I don’t know
why I killed so many, or tried to,

or thought I did. I let the scavengers
take what they can. I am learning

nothing has a sex. I am learning whomever
we love, we are left this way, halved.

~Alison Stine

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