Bards & Brews Reader

An Anatomical Study Concerning the North American Whitetail


You can love a man & find some shared action
in which he tolerates that love.

I slid my hands up the hollow muffler
of the buck’s chest cavity

& slit the esophagus, cut the skirt
of the diaphragm from sternum to crotch.

Then I pulled all the guts out. Sometimes
I believe in small acts of kindness

& sometimes I carry the heart in plastic
Wonder Bread bags, shying from a hound dog

who always has her ass against me on the couch,
in bed. I guess the cause is the comfort

of having her ass against something. I get it:
intimacy requires touch, so I carried the heart

& lungs, which we had a mind to pickle.
My father wiped the blade flat on his blaze,

lines of red on the orange the deer see as gray
& a slightly lighter shade of gray.

Someone tied the testicles to the trailer hitch,
I helped my father clean his hands with field grass,

& I wondered if we had shared a moment
in rolling the internal organs out of the abdomen.

If you hold a heart, you can touch him
& he’ll forget he’s touching what he can’t touch.

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