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 Susan Reynolds

Cobra Magic

I met a salesman in Durbah square,
quiver full of flutes of sandle and teak.
His hair black mambaed,
a glissading eye. Hand out for rupees,
only four hundred and fifty.

I turned on my heel,
refused to be a prey to another shark in Freak street
keen to invade my space.

He tugged at my sleeve,
raised a flute to his lips,
inlaid with silver,
made by a lama
in some retreat or refuge

As he played, mellow on my ear-
I turned again
as his tongue snaked in the hole.

Made me want to dance
with a jewel in my belly,
slithering around the tonic sol fa.
"Cobra magic ."
He hissed as he rolled it on my lips