How can we help?
From the magician’s tall steep hat
a green mamba remembers
the lean lianas of his jungle.
No. That’s no help at all.
Once in Staten Island
where the Italians, and the zoo
specialized in reptiles cheap
to buy and cheap to keep. Stop.
That’s the same road, the same
venomous streak across the path—
resemblances are the death of art,
bring wars, divorces, coronaries.
No hat no snake. The magician
has vanished himself the way
smoke drifts through the trees.
Not smoke, mist. Not mist either,
light taking on body from the air.