The empty shell shimmers against the dry, rustling grass of August.
I crouch low to the earth.
I gather her brittle, translucent skin, gently.
This skin of days passed.
I admire the patterns of her scales,
the texture visible, tangible,
color now faded.
I hold her cast-away sheath in the palm of my hand.
I think how I am like her.
I am part snake.
I too have outgrown my skin.
I too have shed the old, many times–
The shedding is agony.
The shedding is ecstasy.
It is a death and a rebirth.
I hold her old skin–
this temporary art of moments lived,
this disintegrating map of who she was.
I watch it flutter into pieces and scatter in the wind, returning.