Reptile Affection

May 8, 2009
By Hope Phelps BRONZE, New Orleans, Louisiana
Hope Phelps BRONZE, New Orleans, Louisiana
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

My verdant boa was my prize, my pretty pet.
She had a way of snuggling round my hand,
Resting her muscled limbless expanse
At the foot of my bed

That winsome, unaffected reptilian gaze on me.
She cared, I thought, for her dear caregiver;
Cold-blooded, not cold-hearted, my baby.

And yet, I should have known better
Than to assign such trust to a cold thing.
I should have read the bible;
Should have seen the curse of Eve.

I mistook a beguiling creature
For a beloved pet.
I fed her wicked impulses;
Sold my soul for sinful schemes and
Innocent white mice, miniature victims;
She, a criminal mastermind;
And I, a shameful accomplice.

Nevertheless, I cared for her,
Surreptitious as she was;
And when she starved
I took her to the vet.

I say: she slithers round my house, now hers;
No longer sleeping at my feet
But straight in line with me.
How sweet and human, in folly I did think:
My darling wants simply to sleep with me.

Restless and observant, almost as if
…no – not true –
As if my love would cease to eat
saving space for a lethally calculated supper
…As if she measured me.

Slumbering in my vanity, I woke
To find my love was all consuming;
And I, entangled in the lie,
Smothered deceptively by snaking coils:
swallowed by the falsehood I alone contrived.

The author's comments:
"Today, I took my pet boa constrictor to the vet because it was eating funny and acting weird. He used to sleep on my bed curled up, but recently he started lying straight, right next to me. The vet said that he was measuring how long I was to see if he'd be able to swallow me. FML"

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