Rappahannock Bestiary

by JON PINEDA

The snake was part of the river Disappearing into the snake- Shaped shadow of slow water. We stood on the orange clay bank. A redbreast aligned by the current Pulling free the shine of its skin. The surface of the Rappahannock Lit for a moment by transference: A little energy here, a little there. The copperhead neared where We felt for the first time our spines As bolts trapped inside bodies.

JON PINEDA is the author of the poetry collection Little Anodynes. He lives in Virginia.