Deer Meat

by Alary Schmitt


you are NOT going home like this, you say
but what else am i supposed to do?
all of the fruit of my body, strawberry
turned to punch & he spiked it with liquor
while i was in the bathroom.
and i'm saying, don't blame me.
swaying streets under our hooved feet.
someone else is the train tracks,
but my mother said i had doe eyes.
the bedroom was full of headlights, and
the third instinct is freeze.
you lean in, you've seen the bloodstain
now: do deer hibernate in winter?
i want to, i shiver too close to the bone,
fawn legs stumble on the porch. your voice
is getting louder. i flinch. i say,
don't. again. go into the bedroom
and someone there will tell you
about how venison tastes: how it feels
to strip the meat from the bone,
what sounds a deer makes.

i wrap myself in brown-pelt,
ribs picked clean. you take me home:
we sit at the fireplace. you talk
of taxidermy: all i hope for
is that the meat was rotten.
hope it goes sour and someday
the insides of their stomachs burst.
here in the fire, all ripped fat clinging to bone,
the flames crackle and spark.
i hope no one wears me
like pride. i hope my meat rots.
i hope i stick in their teeth:
venison-tough, no toothpicks
to ever get me out.


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