They Leave Nothing for the Morning
i watch from the fence’s perimeter,
two coyotes circling
as they make of their hungers
a wicked game, a slow dance
of devouring. between them a bantam hen,
soft blurt of fear, copper coin
slurring into a planet between four open palms.
the bird litters a panic
of its blood, ruby crumbs darkening the ground.
i stand there quiet & do not stop their game.
i am nine & do not yet know this feeling.
to become a thing of play
& then a meal. but i will learn. a woman
will howl into me
like the deafness of a bell. i will mistake her
for a teacher. will awaken
to my skin now currency, sex
like the barter of a body.
my lips, the tender veins of my neck,
the delicacy of my tongue,
passed between teeth, from mouth
to mouth, how i am taught
to find value in the making of my body
a meal, in my devouring,
boy broken as bread, or a wishbone’s sharp division.
then, i was innocent as an animal,
unmarked as fresh lain egg. come morning,
i hose the red away, pluck
feathers like small blooms from the frost
-choked dirt. think of the hen,
how it could not have foreseen its own opening,
its becoming a stain, washed away.
how it first entered into the world, drenched,
body sticky & golden with light.
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