S for salt, for spoiling crops. S for worse or no choice other than exodus or a territorial discourse. S for stretched out in a morgue, plastic bags like garbage you discard. S for stinking hog, onions, frenetic maggots laying their baggage. S for still you're flesh, meat butchered, bootlegged in the marketplace. S some might say you're gas sloshed from a tank. Others that first blue God doused on a tarp, hated it and left it to rot, or you’re that sound he loved so much, smaller than a cricket song. S for scalp, for the soiled search of your god. S for complete utter darkness. S for success out of the carcass. S for sloth, for sickle, for a solar system beyond sable incarceration. S for ES which is S which is señor of a thousand choruses. S for savior, for scavengers and sculptors you throw out of the temple. S for so much white- noise pressure even the cardinal won't canonize you. No, not that bird, not that pontiff, nor your arsenal. S for still to this day in your belly, in the dive of your mouth.
Bury This Pig
Behind the cornfield, we scaled the mountainside
looking for a foothold among the crags,
rooting out weeds, trampling on trash,
the trek as if it were a holy crusade:
bodies armored, mounted on horses,
banners fluttering in the air.
Then one morning, we stumbled upon the thing,
dead, cramped in a ditch, covered in ants,
trotters grimy, a purple snout of flies
and not a dollop of blood,
but a thick piece of hide, cradling
about fifty pounds of hog.
Someone said, "Kush! Kush!"
as if to awaken the thing.
I thought about the carcass, blood-slick,
staggering into the room,
grumbling and drowning as if deep in the mud,
eyes buckled in fear,
bones breaking down to the ground, open
to the chop and tear of human hands:
pork and lard, forefeet, fatback cut into slabs,
an organ fattened and butchered.
It continued for weeks, a few of us
meeting in the afternoons
just to look at the steaming belly, maggots
stealing the gray of the brain,
each time, one more barefoot boy
probing the eye socket with a stick.
Some of us came back armed
with picks and bars, shovels dusty in our hands,
until the ground groaned with war.
The sky fell and cracked the earth.
How was I to know
they would be hooked, hacked,
snouts smashed on the wall,
their bodies corkscrews on the floor?
How was I to know
I would bury this pig, rock after rock?