Snakehouse, Little Rock Zoo

The musty smell of shed skin
slowed me as I walked
from the fresh, excremental stench
of buffaloes and zebras. 

But I always went.
The slow-motion horror
of its sinews, the slight flick
the snake made at the glass 

drew me in.  Boa,
thick as a baby's leg,
and rattler, no toy,
quick poison under a cool rock. 

Truly a thrill to turn my back,
each time, to their snaky ways
and watch the small marsupials
mate for life.





Paradise Lost
by Gary Simmons