(Day 18)

I have never killed an animal.
complicit, maybe, but never gripped,
wrung, squeezed at a live thing
until it wasn’t.

slaughtering has been described
beneath grandfather’s hands – pigs
playing out foot work, skirting
the fence edge. They know they are next
when they hear chickens in mourning.

sinews stretched across wood,
muscles ripping like wrapping paper.
blood meeting the earth, warm smell
of insides spilled – humanness
has made us forget we, too, are made of meat.

I am reading Morrison’s Beloved.
something in sethe makes her able to kill
the thing mouthing her nipple – hollow it out
on the woodshed floor

tendons tight tight to tearing beneath knife
clutched like rosary count strokes like beads

maybe it is something all mothers have.
why is pig a carcass but a baby is still a body
i am sure the smell is the same.


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