Sako, Western Sumatra
its fiery tail propelling the snake like a rocket’s glare streaming
already half-way across the road when we stop to admire its rare
beauty from a distance: crimson wag and inflamed head warning us
to stay still or be stilled forever from neurotoxins ready from fangs
—————- that will leap ahead of the long inky blue-black body
defending its right of way at a bright red light incomparably wrought
A native New Yorker, James Penha has lived for the past quarter-century in Indonesia. He has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes in fiction and in poetry. His essay “It’s Been a Long Time Coming” was featured in The New York Times “Modern Love” column in April 2016. Penha edits TheNewVerse.News, an online journal of current-events poetry. @JamesPenha. More at: jamespenha.com.