by Nina Benites

Spiraling citrus skin
Opens up tart flesh.
A corn snake shedding
One home for another.

He expertly wields
His black-ribbed knife
Coiling and coiling–
Oh, shit!

Now, blood-orange
Juice drips down tense hands.
Knife rattles on that mahogany;
Sharp pain lounges in heavy air.

So many nights, that sweet
Tooth satiated by spiraling
Citrus skin, so many
Meticulously handled fruits we
Could have peeled

By hand.
Suffice to say
We must have craved more
Than fleshy tang, but
That corn snake was set to strike,