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Content Warning: blood, violence, dark themes

Patricia Tudosa - Active Shooter.jpg

C. Cimmone – The Snake

Fear drove the first cut:

            My Blade

                        intended for the tail

                        but fell at the belly

The meat was rigid

            blood began to emerge

            the snake turned to see

            the un-survivable wound

I see now, in the moonlight

             his entire head:

                        soft and round

                        (no arrowhead point)

                        (no venomous identifiers)

His thin tongue

            searched the air

            grew closer to the wound

            with the last curve

            his body could muster

And with another dose of fear

            I clipped his neck

            right behind the skull

The snake’s head dropped –

            body writhing

            body throbbing

            body pushing out

            my crimson mistake

I gathered his body

            to carry him

            across the grass

            and toss him

            over the fence.

His body remained plump

            despite this great


His smooth scales

            inching forward

            searching for

            the head.

I turned to the head,

            now alone

            in the bluegrass

            without body or tail

            To see

            paused eyes

            and tongue -

            a single nerve

            now void

            of pulses of pain.

Holding the flesh of the snake

            I had feared,

I stood at the fence –

            blood from wrist to waist.

I looked at the sky:

            Great Plains of angels,

            Late home to demons,

            Sturdy bridges of forgiveness,

            Fields of a forever;

And in the galaxy

            I saw the snake

            as he began

            to circle the


A plump body

            full and intact

            tail now a perfectly crafted


As he began to circle the

            moon, I prayed each hollow

            segment of the snake’s tail

            as a crown of roses

            rooted in my eyes, and I

Fell to my knees,

and believed.

C. Cimmone is a poet and comic from Texas. She is alive and well on Twitter at @diefunnier.

Cover Artwork: Active Shooter: An American Story by Patricia Tudosa

(acrylic on canvas, 12x12 in)

Patricia Tudosa is an artist and writer who brings experience across continents, disciplines, and socioeconomic circumstances into her contemplative, often political work. Her paintings have been displayed in the US and Europe. Originally from Romania, she lives in NYC and is available for commissions.

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