Snakeskin Revival

Paula Kaufman

Homecoming Court: King Coal & Queen Shale Biscuit                
Prince Crazy Quilt & Princess Buckwheat Pancake                   
Ramp Parade—sweet & skunk
Pepperoni Roll Band sponsored by Patriot Coal & Justice
 “West Virginia Water Smells Like Licorice”
Fire blooms rainbows                                
above silver-stemmed plants.
Export: future tall tales                                    
Import: snake, oil, revival
A demitasse rim is too small for mind                       
post disaster,            
don’t  slip on frog egg jelly,
walnut-trip, paw-paw-stumble
sleep on a boat in the River Styx
forever seining pomegranate seed ghosts. 
At the Rock & Gem Show                  
kids eagerly carve soap stone            
finger grab bag
split geodes                      
genuine Shark’s Teeth: 5 for $1.00         
fool’s gold
dendrology and gold flaked off Capitol Dome
breakfast-panning for a river’s suture & soul
mouth of opioid mountain                                
deer antler cataract.
Wanted: A date to the snakeskin revival
under cinnamon banjo moon wearing lichen-fringed boots & fish bone.
Swing lantern so ancestors can find ways home. 
Drink: sassafras & elderberry. 
Entertainment: puffballs releasing dreams in rain. 
Time: labradorite moonfog. 
Tune: Wooden spoon castanet and hop tatt until
twig shavings whittle backwards  
into forest. 

Paula Kaufman published her first poetry book, Asking the Stars Advice in April, 2018. She works in the Planning Department in Kanawha County, West Virginia and has spent the last six years traveling, studying and teaching in Palestine, Japan and Holland.