General Methods in the Non-Ritual Slaughter of Animals

3. Captive Bolt

In cold cases at the grocery
store, multiple stacks of neatly
rendered parts: leg, thigh, breast,
wing. Barely any pink against the moist
styrofoam lining, because the severing
was done before their transport here.
We wash the meat again before we cook,
then mask death’s sour smell with bay
leaf and clove, wine, a cloak of cream.
It doesn’t lift, but we say delicious.


Define a cage as opposed
to a holding cell as opposed
to a separation, an example.
What it means: tracker
one can shackle around a thin
ankle; wire periphery surrounding
hundreds dazed and lying in rows,
sheeted with foil. Blinking
in confusion, terrified,
separate, separated.


Define the pistol
sound of bolts locking
in place: not horse stalls
in the desert this time around,
but at least families were
together then. In stories
from other wars I’ve heard
of fathers who took their sons
into their arms, daughters
who gripped their mothers’ hands
with such trust as they were led
naked into the airless chamber.


“…So far, it has been the workers who have borne all the consequences of the employer’s violations. ICE could have decided to audit this employer, and forced him to pay fines and correct his practices. Instead they conducted a raid that left over 160 children without a parent from one day to the next.

No charges have been filed against the company.” ~ “ICE Came for a Tennessee Town’s Immigrants. The Town Fought Back.”

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