Katherine Fallon is the author of DEMOTED PLANET (Headmistress Press, 2021)
and The Toothmaker's Daughters (Finishing Line Press, 2018). She is Lead Poetry
Editor at MAYDAY Magazine and reads for [PANK]. Her poems have appeared in
AGNI, Colorado Review, Juked, Meridian, Foundry, and Best New Poets among
others. She shares domestic space with two cats and her favorite human, who
helps her zip her dresses.
Late spring, an elk stuck fast to the barbed wire,
her soft belly white and undulating like a sail
in violent winds. Nothing to do but watch her
quit herself. She'd have killed who tried
to save her, and so we gave her no chance
to refuse us. Dead of fright we knew we made
worse, her eyes went milky as cocktail onions,
just one nearly bloodless nick upon the ribs.
I took her, wrapped
in a glimpse of what
life can be: our bodies
and so many voices.
I remember her
in the photo booth,
hurt, and yes,
I dragged across her
this morning. My old
mouth moved smoothly.
Because how sad. To not
feel as good as I want.
Not what you thought: the long dark days,
the doll eyes, glazed with or without help.
I'll never say I can't change, am only lame
and waiting to impress you anew. You knew,
but have forgotten: you find me worth it.
You'd like me more if you liked me more.
Because you are ill, I will
take this knife and slice
the meat of my hip to salt,
to braise, to feed and save you.
I have snapped the tendons
from a sow's wet bones,
stared at the flat, wicked
plane of the scar upon your
tricep, known that someday,
I, too, might be fed, flesh
served to me beside a green,
your skin cold with sweat
upon the silken scab
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