Of Nails, Snakes, and Trees

Akheela Sherif
Batch, relationship, any other Detail
July 2021 

Of Nails, Snakes, and Trees

Akheela Sherif

So, you want to stick it to the Man?

“Would you rather I stick it to the Person, then?”

Your tongue will get you in trouble;

I’d rather you nail that snake to a tree.

Eyes ahead, posture steady,

Don’t try and slither out.

Smile when you speak to the Man.

Your tongue runs too wild for his taste;

Nail that snake to a tree.

Bleach the old college flags.

“Is red not in season anymore?”

Red is in season

when it drapes suggestively around virgin brides.

We do have to nail the snakes to trees.

“You know that’s quite the dirty euphemism?”

I digress.

Would you rather Medusa?

Curled snakes in her hair,

Cursed by Pallas Athene herself?

Nail your snakes to the tree.

“You’ve read the wrong versions,

Mythologies translated by old bats

Their biases dripping sour, curdling,

Through every slur,

An undercurrent, smelly acid,

In the text they translated,”

And I digress.

Do your time and head out,

Save socialism for the tweets

There’s overtime for the fields

“What fields? Paddy fields?”

I find petroleum more poetic

“And what of the Man in the fields?

Why are you letting him go?”

He will pull out his own chords

Mistake them for snakes

And nail himself to a tree.