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Intimacy with White Snake

Photo by Jordi Fontana on Unsplash

Intimacy with White Snake

after the Chinese fairy tale Lady White Snake

I will always be both my selves.

driven by desire for warmth, I writhe

shed the scales and the tiny moons that once danced with my body

peel away the old skin and come into warm sun of the new.

When I make a promise, I wrap myself around it, in entirety.

I am human, I am woman, I am here and alive for the taking.

But Man, as I take you in my emerging arms, you must know

even upon loving and becoming, my heart,

my blood cannot be drained away to feed the soil.

Know this: I am whole and cannot be emptied.

I cannot crush the serpent, for she is my being

I cannot burn the witch, for she is my soul

I cannot whiten my birthmarked skin. O Man,

my promise under heaven is infinite

I'd crawl to the dust at the edge of the world, die for you—

but I cannot disappear for you.

~ Ellen Huang