The White Snake

by Joseph Stanton

A servant tastes forbidden snake,

and words of beasts open his mind

to rings of gold at sea’s bottom,

to secrets of every last grain,

to ravening flights to the core

of things — where trees of life heavy

with moist green light will drop

perfect golden apples from the clouds,

so that his lowly heart can look up:

a poor boy marrying his wildest dream—

a queen gorgeous beyond belief,

overripe with long–delayed desire,

whose empty chamber he will fill

with one golden baby after another.