Offering

 

You know the story: a child pulls

off the legs of a spider or some

other insect, one by one, then

commands it to walk. In the end,

he concludes that without the means

to walk, one becomes deaf. Trail

of unmoving bodies on the windowsill:

after which the child loses interest

or moves on to a new experiment

involving wings and melted tallow.

I am not trying to say we are incapable

of violence. I am not trying to say

we haven't had dreams in which

our arms windmill until they find

a physical target, until the last

husk is surrendered as tax. Friends ask

how can you be so serene, listening

as an animal is slaughtered in the pit;

watching as blood pours from the slit

throat, as the knife scores the belly

until the creamy white lining yields

to inspection. Someone plunges

an arm into the cavity to bring

paired astrolabes to light: branched

lungs, streaked kidneys. These

can be hung in the trees, like

dark beads of a chandelier.




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