Chase Troxell


You see the way she stretches along
the length of your body, measuring
you to her. Don’t mistake imitation
for affection. If she is long enough,
she’ll unhinge her jaw and eat you.

Lie still and let her forked tongue
speak to you. Pythons are the perfect
pets. Nothing that is too obedient
or affectionate can be appreciated.
It isn’t biology. There, you see,

you’re too long for her to eat,
so she’ll just wrap herself up over
your belly and wait like a patient
girl for this little white boy to drop
near her. Don’t worry, the mouse

won’t get far. Watch the way
she strikes at him and constricts
her long green body around.
Now that he is dead and still,
she’ll lift him up, and he’ll slide,

with a little assistance, down
the length of her. You can’t tell
her no. You can’t tell her what to eat
or when. You just have to know
what she wants, and if you’re lucky,

she’ll causally nod her head in your
direction and thank you for what she
has taken from you. Don’t you see,
there is no controlling something so
free. You can only hope to capture her

attention for a bit. Relax, breathe easy,
I’ll put her away and untie you. There,
there, my sweet boy, it is always good
to remember that the things we love
can devour us whole, if we let them.





Chase Troxell graduated with his B.A. from the University of Findlay where he was also the first managing editor for Slippery Elm. He has poems published in GNU Journal, Mochilla Review, Sheila-Na-Gig Online and Eunoia Review. He lives in Findlay, OH with his two beautiful daughters, Felicity and Leona.