Sestina

Brush strokes over a canvas,

Waves, like roads,

Like branches on a tree.

An old car, papers balanced on the dash,

The weaving highway a snake,

Glints on the horizon of sunset-red.

 

A photograph captures eyes as red,

Bloodshot like paint on a canvas.

Fine bristles dragged across; a snake.

A painting on a building by the road,

Across it a dash

Cut by the full branches of an oak tree.

 

Capillaries extended like twigs from branches of a tree.

Burst vessels and cherry blossoms red.

Slung across the palm, a dash,

Skin a canvas,

Veins tracing a road

Disappearing under the skin like into the burrow of a snake.

 

And Satan was the snake

And he hung from the tree

And Eve and Adam chose the road

To self-destruction, rimmed in red.

They stretched the canvas

Over bone, a wrist, a dash.

 

SOS in dots and dashes.

Within her skin writhes her own snake,

Piercing the canvas;

Paths like branches of a tree.

She hates the red

Ink on a roadmap.

 

Like bridges over roads,

Over veins, scarred dashes.

What fades is the red

What does not is the snake,

The urge to slice the tree,

Paint the canvas.

 

The snake is in her eyes and she sees red. A pink tint on the road.

The world is a—her—canvas. Her paintbrush can make the dashes.

Every person has a snake. They all picked from the tree.

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