Like the buck I am I turn my head
side to side. I hear the leaves
rustle. I shake my head a little
and birds reel ’round the forest.
I am no branch. My head turns
to the side. I see out my side eye.
The deep pool of the eye
sees itself pool in the mirror.
I oil myself ’til I am all a lather.
My chest heaves out
so my full heart can abandon
the ribs’ stockade. Where
the bullet would go if the hunter
were a good shot: that’s
where I place the razor.
I make my skin taut. I pull
my own neck back and to
the side. I come for myself.
Yes, I was a lady once but now
I take the blade and move it
slowly past the jugular, up
the ridge of my chin where
the short hairs glisten. I was
once ashamed. It was a thing
I did in private. My own self
my quarry. No more.
Look how the doe comes ’round
and also the doves and also
the wolf who lets me pass.
The fox offers me the squirrel’s
hide to buff myself to shining.
There is no such thing except
the smoothness of my face.
outside the window. And plenty
of people are dying in various ways.
And won’t the infrastructure fail
all on its own? Without me building
a bomb in the desert? These are the
kinds of questions that make me know
I’m not fit to decimate the planet.
Which is sort of sad to think
about. All that potential I’m just
giving up on.
Copyright © Persea Books 2017
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.