Suzan Elizabeth Howe
Python Killed to Save Woman
When our pet python wrapped around me
in the night, I remembered the biblical
serpent out to trick, then destroy Adam and Eve.
The trick: yellow jeweled skin, creamy as topaz,
and ten coiling feet of gentle disposition
according to the pet store, never mind
the urine stink, never mind the rabbits
he eats, or that when it comes to manure,
he piles it like a horse. I was lured
by nostalgia for the lamb lying down
with the lion, or the snake lying
with my husband and me, not with exactly,
but free to slither about our bedroom.

I admit I felt something kinky
about sex with an albino Burmese python
in the room, so naturally God would roil me
inside a giant tightening tire. But no, Lucy
short for Lucifer was squeezing me,
and as gasp my ribs crunched
I thought the snake beguiled Eve
and had more compassion for her.
The devil, the beast, I screamed

as a head glided down my back
like a steam iron and started to nibble
my buttocks. Bob woke up fast
but his Swiss army knife was no match
for raw hunger, jaws unhinging, then he too
got enmeshed. The snake has us,
I thought, until Bob grabbed his phone,
then will the cops get here? whose
bones whose flesh? whose hunger
whose God whose muscle whose coils
whose will whose passion whose death?
About Suzan Elizabeth Howe
After receiving her undergraduate degree in Spanish and French from Brigham Young University, poet, playwright, and editor Susan Elizabeth Howe turned her focus to creative writing, earning an MA from the University of Utah and a PhD from the University of Denver.