Rats scribble behind sheetrock, this farmhouse their only sanctuary. They jot notes in the margins of our bedroom where once I told you I made rent three summers working as the snake lady at a county fair. At midnight I’d rise from my pit and buy all the vendors’ forsaken cotton candy with dollars children whirligigged down onto my scales, writhing with the forged magic of the merfolk, the centaurs, and the harpies. Clutching spun sugar bouquets, I’d kiss the petting zoo goats and lambs funneled toward their troughs and pine straw and zigzag my entrance ramp. I’d vanish into my trailer with the curtained window. Somehow, after each show, I’d uncoil into a warm-blooded woman again. In the attic the rats tear hunks of insulation into pink cumulous, a whole sky I’ll gather by armfuls and climb back down into this life.

KRISTIN ROBERTSON recently graduated with a PhD in creative writing from Georgia State University, where she served as an assistant editor for Five Points. Her poetry has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Smartish Pace, Copper Nickel, Mid-American Review, and Verse Daily. She lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, and teaches at Maryville College.