Red rivers and still drops
Preferred to straw-silk tears
Of black curds wrapped
In paper folds of hide.
Deep shades on sunlit glass,
Or point-prick spotted tile;
Not warmed on stone,
To soak the lichen crust
Or shells enshelled in leaves
Hard lacquer, spine-rimmed bowls
Blown sun-scent dust
Or stiffened rabbit bones.
I helped my father cut the scurs
The twin knobs, wrinkle-sheathed
Or malsprung twins: irregular
On its white head.
The goat was duct-taped by each hoof,
Eyes rolled in, nostrils flared
As I pressed down; the sawsall whirred
Split horn from bone.
And touched my wrist.
My fingers saved the blood,
No, clutched, or cramped like misers;
Sealed the break before I pried them off.
I watch curds weep in summer air
And brush the peritoneum
With coated fingers, quivering steel
The loosened bowels fall;
Anticipate the loppers’ snap
And tear the head to free
Mahogany and amber for the heat.