Last summer, two discrete young snakes left their skin on my small porch, two mornings in a row. Being post-modern now, I pretended as if I did not see them, nor understand what I knew to be circling inside me.  Instead, every hour I told my son to stop with his incessant back-chat. I peeled a banana.  And cursed God—His arrogance, His gall—to still expect our devotion after creating love.  And mosquitoes.  I showed my son the papery dead skins so he could know, too, what it feels like when something shows up at your door—twice—telling you what you already know.


Copyright © 2015 by Robin Coste Lewis. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 31, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I’m interested in Descartes’s mind/body split, how our disembodied go-go-go lives are often interrupted by events, coincidences, individualssignsthose moments that remind us, blatantly, of all those sensations we hope to repress. In short, then, I suppose this poem is about that brilliant trickster Denial’s natural triumph over our own self-perception.”
Robin Coste Lewis