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  • Todd Wooten

1986

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Leather duty belt coiled high in the closet.

Breaking sound barriers with hissing

strikes against legs, back, ass.

Poisonous pouches and notches.

Tail rattling in the school library,

Golden fangs inscribe -

to protect and serve.


Curse words scribbled on a notepad.

Minuscule left-handed print.

Eight year old pleas as the scaly whip cracks.

Line upon line upon line

like words chalked on a blackboard.

Reaching up, brazen and crazed

like an Appalachian snake handler.


God will protect? will He also serve?

The holster blouse is unbuttoned.

The butt squeezed.

The barrel slid out and in.

A bend of the finger guarantees release.


The spirit-drunk preacher dances

stomping vipers and dignity.

The librarian kisses her finger.

Eyes blind as justice - quiet please!

How easy to climb cold-blooded in the vacant trailer.

Switch the safety off.

Unhinge the jaws.

Shed the skin.

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