it bleeds in thin sunset strands
filters through within
sunlight congealing in layers every day
a fat ripeness that makes old folks
sob for the urges their bodies
no longer answer

the pig died like prejudice
you can learn about preparing a carcass
from a book or the internet
but the knife is never as sharp as you imagine
and you have to be resolute
to guide the light out of those eyes
feel the electric trembling die down
as animation settles to mud

birds like madness every morning
alarm clock pecking the inside
of hungover foreheads every red eye
cast out of doors into fantasies
of dappled shade and appetite make the body
strong for the sowing and the harvest

blood didn’t syphon fast enough
there were seven when they started
they shared a coating of sweat
and pig stink from the farm
where they’d abducted their victim
after getting drunk and shaving
the hair off their forearms
a contest of unblooded blades
they turned the delta between the hog’s
neck and breastbone into a swamp
of cuts and punctures

long walks to the railroad yard
iron arteries leading to every ending
of the country imagining a hobo future
picking oranges in Florida or California
somewhere with surf and fragrant flowers
somewhere not tucked near the crotch
of the elderly city of broad shoulders

too fat to bleed they decided to bludgeon
only three had puked by then
sour beer made more sour
with shit and squealing
they needed a maul but used a bat
a pinging wand of aluminum
that caved in one eye socket
but was useless against the intelligent
dome of bone

even the parents get frisky
start dusting off yearbooks making vain
attempts at scraping years of
crackling layers off the barbecue grill
staying up to all hours and playing grabass
when they should be doing the bills
should be asleep early and not impede
the fumbling progress of teenaged rut

the hog took to rooting and biting
there were complaints – the charcoal pit
was burning past its prime and when the shoat
dashed into the bathroom it seemed
fortuitous to fill the tub and wrestle
the swine into dead-chilly waters –
they held its head under and sat its heaving
ribs until its trotters beat cast iron no more

each season buries the bones
of those gone before
lived and eaten layered as memory
the skin savored the meat renewed
the fat smeared on faces innocent
of how that food got to the plate
the elderly turn away understanding
they have an appointment to die

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a poet from Seattle Washington USA. His poetry has appeared in print in publications such as Bellowing Ark, Point Nopoint, and most recently in Contraposition magazine. When not writing poetry he is a Human Resources professional, a repentant glutton, and a novelist specializing in the weird-fiction genre.
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