why did the two officers

in question        arrest her

the woman

who was beaten

by her husband              she shit out

a whole white snake

while in custody and they kept it

as a pet it crawled

into the wall

stilled like the very pipes

acted natural              framed the cell

the system isn’t failed

the system never existed

and sometimes our mothers teach us

to ask for the impossible

things no one can give us

| peace | hands like a harbor |

the heart becomes a boundary shape

I borrow that line              it explains

a hole through which you see

the telescopic cinema of winter

warmth is still just

white smoke waving through street grates

how is it we are moving

this fast in that we are not

at all moving

we know it’s wrong

probably most of the women you’ve encountered

have been raped

actually most of the people

and if you didn’t think you knew one

now you do

there’s no history reversal when

a snake gets in the wall              the choice is

burn down the building

Dara Cerv

Dara Cerv is the author of a chapbook, Bath Poems (Sixth Finch 2015). Her poetry recently appears in Cosmonauts Avenue, Powder Keg, and Reality Beach. Her visual art has appeared in collaboration with the poetry of Christine Shan Shan Hou in Parallax, Emily Skillings in Hyperallergic, Ali Power in Poor Claudia, and on a broadside in celebration of a performance of John Ashbery's "Litany" at the Poetry Project. Dara works in New York and lives in Brooklyn.


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