It was venom that caused my limbs to rot from the inside

and dangle like dead scorpions in a spider’s web     a bitter


venom that tore through my bones and plowed ruts into

my veins     but that same venom made me live     made me


stab my lethargy in its gelatinous heart     made me savor

each inhalation like rare prime rib and fine bourbon     made


me sit still just long enough to graze the infinite each

morning before dragging a piece of it into my mouth and


spitting it upon a page or canvas     that same venom turned

my children into fountains     turned my wife into a Douglas fir


turned me into the rain that runs through them all     now

I know when to curl my tail and when to snap my claws because


what has tightened my throat has allowed my throat to breathe