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.
Copyright © 2014 by Leah Naomi Green. Originally published in Ecotone Magazine. Used with permission of the author.
Leah Naomi Green
Leah Naomi Green’s first full-length poetry collection, The More Extravagant Feast (Graywolf Press, 2020), 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