Serpent (Anna Jacobson)

By the time I see you,
seventy-one angels have descended
from heaven, chopped
off your hands and feet, split
your tongue. You crawl
along your belly. Vanish.

By the time I see you,
your limbs are phantom.
When I look for your arm,
your hand, I cannot see.
You move it to reassure me,
I still cannot see.

By the time I see you,
I fear that my head and
one hand will be chopped off.
I am most worried
about my hand. My head
I can do without.

By the time I see you,
I do not fear. I see you whole
as you see me. We have walked
here together, swapping shoes.
And now we take tea, drink
from chipped Spode.


Anna Jacobson is a Brisbane-based poet, writer, and artist. Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies including ABR’s States of Poetry QLD, Verity La, Cordite, Rabbit, and Meanjin. Anna’s poetry chapbook The Last Postman (Vagabond Press, 2018) is part of the deciBels 3 series. Find more from Anna at her website.