The Vegetarian Dismembers a Chicken
There’s no good way to do it,
snapping the ribs under the delicate
breast, shoulder bones and their pearl ends.
I’d rather this went faster.
But the wings that moved a little,
if it ever had room to run,
refuse to come away. The knife and I
together can barely bruise a leg
backward as if a car had nailed it.
And here, the heart like a slender thumb
and the lobed liver, wet as pudding,
but shaped with a strange intelligence.
It’s a world of sacrifice: the cat
to the coyote, the deer to the boulevard,
damp hands of steam pushing the windows,
my mother asking for the one last thing
she might be able to taste. It’s April,
and the surgeon showed us the shadow
while outside the clinic, lilacs popped
their innocent heads against the fence.