I heard the dying cow hum
its white song—make me strong.
I’m a stick thin grassland ranchman,
pacing a path leavened with afterbirth,
tin canteen manacled to my hip,
straw-boss of this bumrush glade—
we measure our Januaries in loss,
my wife and I, she is like this meat,
just a pile of trail’s end stink.
Was that a wildebeest in the bush
or was it her, heaving through bramble?
Curse the bovine’s black eye,
the swatting at flies—curse the fighting
how it mixes our blood
I was born an act of battle,
a man of a man
and a woman who gnaws at a hangnail
while tending a stew of tendons
congealing as it cools.
Feature Photo by Kathleen Steeden