With the speared nub
of his unopened umbrella,

the man stabs
at the snake’s taut stalk

of a body.
Invisible hands,

invisible arms, invisible feet,
the snake rises up

straight in response.
Between the trees

late morning wads
of sunshine douse

both man and snake in light.
The umbrella’s handle

is dark brown, custom-made.
O how the abandoned

the abandoned

abandon the abandoned.

The snake is very real
and very alert.


Jeff Alessandrelli