William Heath

How to Capture an Anaconda                   

Reach into the river
and grab the creature
behind the head.
If you fall in the water
and the huge serpent
wraps itself around you,
hold the snake’s head
away from your face
with your right hand
while unwinding
the powerful coils
with your left because
if the snake tightens
itself around your chest
if you are squeezed
too hard anywhere
your bones will snap.
Break free of the embrace
and lift the snake
up into your boat.
Now cram it deep
into your capture bag
and with strong twine
tie a slip-proof knot.
Next row your boat
swiftly back to camp,
and get some rest.

we wrestle crocodiles.

William Heath has taught American literature and creative writing at Kenyon, Transylvania, Vassar, the University of Seville, and Mt. St. Mary's University, where the William Heath Award is given annually to the best student writer. He has published two chapbooks and a book of poems, three novels, an award-winning work of history, and a collection of interviews with Robert Stone. His website: http://www.williamheathbooks. com.



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