A Taxidermist Deconstructs a Snake
Slim limbless bodies
turn in upon themselves
like Giacometti sculptures
stripped to the core.
In silence, they pirouette.
No feet of clay to hold them back.
Perform complicated arabesques,
charm the customers.
It wasn’t the nip, or the tuck of it.
She knew how to shed the pounds.
All she’d wanted was distance
from street life ambition,
from red lips and chicks,
high heels and kicks,
the dead cool corpses
that kept hanging around.
She wanted the distance
from stuffed heads and crystals,
bad teaching with scalpels,
dark stories that kept her
awake at night.
So he brought her a suitcase
filled with deception.
Made a space in her freezer
and slipped in the snakes.
Found a half-eaten sandwich
beneath a frozen gannet.
Hung the weight of a python
around her neck.
Now she’s unpeeling a snake
the hard core, the meat.
Sidewinding a memory
a muscle now melting.
Squeezing an arm in a sleeve.
She’s turning; a trick ―
zero size the new chic,
changing a body with ease. 
There’s no flicker of tongues,
no sibilant sounds.
She’s wanting to taste the air.

Marion Oxley

If you have any thoughts on this poem,  Marion Oxley  would be pleased to hear them.