Red rivers and still drops
Preferred to straw-silk tears
Of black curds wrapped
In paper folds of hide;
Wine on splintered glass,
Or scarlet dotted tile;
Not warmed on stone,
To soak the lichen crust
Or shells enshelled in leaves
Hard lacquer, spine-rimmed bowls,
Blown sun-scent dust
On stiffened rabbit bones.
Summer was Fair-time,
Dust in the air-time,
Sell the white goat time
All must prepare-time.
Time to get rid of those scurs on him.
Wrap-wrap the tape up and sit on his head,
Saucer of cornstarch to hold off the blood.
Gray gritty concrete, hard and cold
Gold slotted eyes, broad and bulged.
I watched the sawsall and my father’s hands
Above the slick white fur
The whir through stunted horn—it’s fingernail
And the white bone,
And sponge red marrow,
And my wrist
My fingers crimped hard tight
Too hard, with such a firm tight seal.
Not like the goat’s raw stumps.
Or like so many, many rabbits.
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.