by Emily Banks

Before a snake sheds skin, she goes half blind

for just a week or two. The fluid she excretes,

a grey-white lubricant to ease the slide,

pools under the scale of each eye

like warm milk filling up a metal spoon.

When the world blurs,

she searches out a rough surface

to rub against, loosening first

the old skin from her head, where it will split,

then working down. If done correctly,

the skin should come off in one easy piece,

a hollow tube of flimsy wax paper, a shroud of self

like the seat of jeans you’ve worn all week,

that absence so distinct.(More …)