The hunt

Strip, hide from haunch, red-white
quarters, cut away—a slow shiver of steel.

Blood pools in the skin,
a strange fountain,
puddled around joints, cartilage against stunted sockets.

Ah, cloven-foot. Our time has come, hasn’t it?
No wide brown eyes, soft hind of your child
unfolded in the grass.

I cut into the belly, fishing with blunt hands for organs:
memories, now.

My mother’s hair, a shepherd’s lolling smile—
You moved me from one apartment to the next,
when I could not stand
to see myself a skeleton in boxes again.

My hand closes around the heart, full and ripe,
glistening with subcutaneous fat, sinew.
A wild thing, they say, like that means anything.

Like you would not take and take and take,
until there is nothing left.

I sit surrounded by shank, loin, and rib; the smell heavy, rich,
a king of flesh. My fingers tremble against the cold:
I bag each cut by itself.

Alone, in the dark, I take home my kill.
Bone and flesh have split from each other,
yet you cling to me still.