The Snake Handler On His Deathbed

Photo by Michael Jerrard on Unsplash

by Kip Knott

Enraptured by the Holy Spirit, I let you kiss me exactly six times over the course of thirty years. Through fervent prayer and God’s good graces, I miraculously survived the acid of your venom each and every time. I had thought about connecting all twelve scars that circle my wrist with tattooed serpent tongues, their forks forming a chain of tiny flaming hearts to honor both you and Jesus. But I doubt I’ll have that chance now that the venom of kiss number seven has made its way through my veins too quickly and paralyzed my once ecstatic body. As the world around me dims and I search in vain for the everlasting light of Heaven, I realize my only mistake was becoming seduced by your power and charmed by my sinful, unrequited love for you. I let myself forget that your true nature was always to squeeze every last bit of life out of me.


Kip Knott is a writer, poet, teacher, photographer, and part-time art dealer. His newest poetry chapbook, The Misanthrope in Moonlight, is available from Bottlecap Press.


Recent Stories