The Only Invitation
I was begging / for some grandeur even if it meant / a little blood or whole limb
The Only Invitation
a snake it was sunbathing on the trail
not neatly coiled but unashamed it had
acquired its length over the course
of many years it had earned everything
for some grandeur even if it meant
a little blood or whole limb I bowed
before the snake and promised I was his
I’d do anything he asked and more
at that moment the woods appeared
to fall away not hopelessness exactly
when the world opens its jaws
and invites you to come in
Ben Purkert is the author of the forthcoming novel The Men Can't Be Saved (Overlook, 2023). His poetry collection For the Love of Endings (Four Way Books, 2018) was named one of Adroit's Best Poetry Books of the Year. His writing appears in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. The founding editor of Guernica's Back Draft interview series, he teaches at Rutgers. You can read more of his work at benpurkert.com or on Twitter (@BenPurkert).
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