Thursday, July 13, 2006

Cow Girl or Girl Cow


Sections 4 & 5 from my poem "The Five Course Meal" (1998)

4.
The great uncle complains
that his rack is not supple and pink--a taste
more vulnerable, closer to the kill.
“I like to see some blood,” he tells the group.
The rest cringe, chewing undecidedly, and then decidedly
face their fears:
tangled fish scales for my incontinence,
a swollen shank for my pneumonia as a kid,
severed ribs for the woman who would not marry me,
innards and entrails for my fear of heights,
matted feathers for my mastectomy.

5.

It happens every year: on barren oval platters
lie sickled bones, marble-balled
tallow, blue elastic veins,
scraps of skin encrusted. Holding
their hands to their stomachs,
they recount time lost in fear,
thinking,
you deserved it
you deserved it
you deserved it.


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