to be small in a landscape of snakes

I’m afraid you will hurt me, so I drive the truck
thirty miles without the radio. Rabbits flicker

in and out of the brush. I dare one to come close
enough. I will make myself into someone unhurtable.

What I really want is your openness, how it feels
to be small in a landscape of snakes.

One carried herself to the creek, bulged at the side.
And the sun on the rocks, her bed for the dead

who grow in her a new light. Stronger. A canvas
of fear. I’m afraid you will hurt me. So I shoot her

belly open. It’s no use. The rabbit’s heart already
shut out. The wind comes as if a child in a tent,

her hands in surrender. I cry out, No! You’re the one
who’s supposed to kill me.

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