Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Venison

The deer is still alive
in the roadside grass.
In an hour, we'll cut her open, 
her left hip broken, the bone 
in her dark body; now the white Camaro 
shocked in the night and the boy

wet-faced in the back seat, 
his parents at a loss 
by the hood, too young 
to have meant any of it: the giving 
or taking.  They are glad 
for our headlights, glad for our rifle. 

Her head still on, she hangs 
outside our kitchen window 
for the blood to drip, skin
pulled down like a shirt.

I watch my husband undress her 
with a knife.  I wash the blue plates. 
When I turn the water off, I can hear
his blade unmoor muscle, sail 
through her fascia. 

We put her leg and buttock 
on the wooden table, where we 
will gather her between us 
to eat all year.  It is all I ever see:
a thing, alive, slowly becoming my own body.

Credit


Copyright © 2014 by Leah Naomi Green. Originally published in Ecotone Magazine. Used with permission of the author.

Author


Leah Naomi Green

Leah Naomi Green’s first full-length poetry collection, The More Extravagant Feast, was selected by Li-Young Lee as the winner of the 2019 Walt Whitman Award, given by the Academy of American Poets.

Date Published: 2017-09-06

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/venison