I am trained to perch in the crooks of trees.
I watch my petticoat flutter up there,
I tug the bodice of my corset with one hand
and set the rifle into my clavicle
with the otherand then I wait.
The pines above shed needles and feathers
and below, the rattlesnake is beautiful enough
to skin, if only I could catch him between my thumb
and forefingergentle enough between my thumb
and forefinger. I could save him for later,
sew his scales to my booties.
“Grow tired with me,” I call to him.
“Grow tired with me. I charm you.”
I tip the barrel over the picket fence. Aim
for venison, the white flash of fur. In the thickness
of night, I steady myself on the limb,
fix the ruffles of my dress.
Only two geese at midnight, only one within my range.