The Snake of My Destruction

She spoke hard,
words breaking
between her teeth,
flying at me
encased in venom,
her tongue
the snake of my destruction,
directing the battle
from the safety
of the mouth
that used to
suck me dry
on Saturday night
and recite
the Lord’s Prayer
Sunday morning.

I had no defense,
against her mantras,
her go-to complaints,
her honesty;
my deflections
were weak,
my excuses
as old as
the caricatures
we had become

but I stood my ground,
swatting aside
her words
like Kong riding
the Empire State building
because I wouldn’t
to the look
in her eyes.

When we climbed down
from our pedestals
there was silence
between us
that propped up
our weary bones,
lifted our
sagging skin,
placed our arms
around each other,
lay her head
on my shoulder,

and when she choked
“I’m sorry”
into my ear
I cringed
because I knew
I belonged
on my belly
in Eden’s dirt.

Projections on a Map

If I were on the road again,
the waxing moon
following me
as if I owed him money,
then all the shit
that pelted me like Katrina rain
would have a purpose.
I could make a left
and keep going
until the gas ran out,
the whole time feeling like
my bones were still connected.
If I drove all night
down 95,
through Georgia again,
an asphalt zombie
with cobra coil eyes,
then 2:00 a.m.
wouldn’t scare me awake,
breath catching in my throat
while sweat burns into my eyes.
I know you’re waiting
in that little house
on the street
I can’t pronounce,
but is it me
that you look for
when you pull back the curtain
every time headlights
flood the road?
If I knocked on your door
in the middle of the night
would it be enough,
or would I have to pay the moon
his due?

Christopher Hivner writes from a small town in Pennsylvania with musical worms slicing through his brain for inspiration. He has recently been published in Down in the Dirt and the Death Head Grin Anthology. He can be visited at www.chrishivner.com

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