Snakes

October 12, 2008
By Tess Drummond, North Garden, VA

feelings spike out of me like nails,
like little snakes willing to use their venom
with each passing second, they grow
in number, in fierceness, in their inability to do harm
i fling the words at you hoping to do some real harm
hoping that i can sting a little
so that you can feel what spikes i have
so that you can feel the same towards me
oh, sweet anger
it's name like a syrup,
but it's effect like a serum - to make me quicker
more agile with my quips
yet they come to naught
we eventually move in silence
ignoring for an eternity,
all the while letting our little snakes procreate,
preparing for round two, where surely this time the other will be unprepared
but then, the greatest weapon of all emerges:
and one of us will speak in calm, light tones
tones that disguise the slight cold and falsity of the words
we are led to believe a truce has been made -
that the other has seen the error of - not THEIR ways, but ours
society - or some equally pressing norm - leads us to accepting
the demise of our fight, the end to our bitterness
the snakes are disposed of - slowly starving away in their overabundance
note that it is slowly: for while we are outwardly apologetic,
we are scathing on the inside: vexed by the ability of the other to so quickly forgive
to so quickly accept truce, to so quickly kill all our precious snakes,
our dear snakes,
and with them our ability to show our outrage, our nagging need to disarm the other.
and with this loss: of our snakes, of our excuse to use them,
come more snakes, smaller than the others, but still dangerous
inwardly, each is slightly relieved for the reprise
because though it is a sadistic type of fun
it is too stressful to hold for long
too much energy that it is as if we are slowly -
yet amazingly quickly – so quickly we can feel it happening -
tearing us apart
shaking us apart from the inside
muscles feel weak yet immeasurable strong
nervous energy fills our veins
we find ourselves- with our little snake- slamming and grumbling
stomping and making noises
noises that we hope will pull the other back to the fight
back into our swirling madness
of snakes, of words, of fierce anger
and we both know that as damaging as it is to make such cutting noises
it is equally annoying, equally provocative and pestering
to ignore such blatant attempts at reopening fire
so the snakes will dwindle and die
our truce requires us to subdue them - for now
but later, the second the truce is broken,
we will become necromancers in our own rights,
reviving left and right the little snakes we once let waste away
whether it be from the previous battle or the earliest battle we remember
our zombie snakes will appear, but will be of little use- for, like the truce
we are forced to accept that the past had passed, and should remain that way
and because of this, one small snake will always live
will never be allowed to waste away - it will only hibernate
in our times of truce: the loophole we never aim to radicate,
never aim to make better
because secretly, we like that we have animosity towards each other
that we can always fall back on that
that we never have a total truce- because that makes us human,
and that is the one thing we can both fully agree on.

The author's comments:
I wrote this right after a fight - so all the words are exactly what I could come up with - no editing ( and I kind of like it that way...) Umm, I meant for it to be choppy, because that is what hot anger feels like, and I worte it with line breaks exactly where I felt I needed them - as that is where the real pauses take place (trust me!). I really hope you can read this without a problem, becasue I personally have a problem with reading free verse and I don't want this to be like that... Give me any feedback you've got! (please?)

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