Snake by Louise Peterkin

Louise Peterkin is a poet who lives and works in Edinburgh. Her work has featured in publications such as New Writing Scotland, The Dark Horse, and The North. In 2016 she received a New Writers Award for Poetry from the Scottish Book Trust.

Louise once read a description of the actress Charlotte Rampling which referred to her as “snakey” and wanted to try combining the archetype of the film femme fatale with ideas of anthropomorphism and metamorphosis.




No one suspected I could be so snakey.
By the time they found his body
it was too late,
all the police could do was hang yellow tape
where the door had been. I was long gone.
My skin like hosiery on the floor.

I nudged to the east with panache.
But like the stones that studded my path,
the bones that had revised my digestion
to a kind of archaeology, there were clues:
sodden shirts twisting
round my arm like a bracelet,
the spiced tomb of the laundry basket.

How lithe I am now I have wriggled free!
I hiss like Peter Lorre. A small bird
fizzes like seltzer inside me.
Who’dve thought I could be so snakey?
His face was all inky with poison.
Like a sewing machine,
I had punctured him in a great many places.

You can reach Louise via email, More of her work can be found here.