Aarne-Thompson 706 (Danger in the Water)

Federica Santini


Your severed hands turn into snakes
fingers resplendent extend

there is danger in the water

Your mouth twists Biancabella
unwanted gift of the snake

there is danger in the water

Glass steps not to descend infinite spirals
the bronze ring the silver ring the golden ring
three sisters the youngest is the most—beautiful
voice of the snake lost in the waves
inner belly of fish hiding the diamond
skin turns into scales ashen boughs

and there is still
in our waterways



Federica Santini lives in Atlanta and teaches at Kennesaw State University. She holds an MA from the University of Siena, Italy, and a PhD from UCLA. She has authored or edited four volumes on poetics and her poetry has been published in numerous journals in North America and Europe. She is the author of Unearthed (Kelsay Books, 2021).