I’m afraid of snakes alive and
in person, pictures, on TV or film.
Imagine not opening the S section
of encyclopedias or dictionaries.

Not going to the reptile room
at the Museum of Natural History or
waiting outside the Zoo’s reptile exhibit.
Closing your eyes on Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Not letting anyone in your home
watch reptile nature shows.
Walking through tropical forest
eyes closed holding someone’s hand.

I live in NYC where I don’t see snakes
but human behavior is slithery, slimy
and reptilian in act but not look.
I listen and watch what people say & do.

I stay away from them too,
if they make one slippery move
and their words and deeds are lies.
This means they are snakes too.