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.

Elena T. Tomorowitz

Elena T. Tomorowitz is completing her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers, where she is associate editor of the Mississippi Review. She has poems appearing in Used Furniture Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, ILK, Blue Earth Review, Barn Owl Review, and others. She spends her time between Boise, Idaho, and Hattiesburg, Mississippi.