By Kevin Goodan
Hoist-points for the Promised Power
I am made of gut-barrels steaming in rain,
Steel hooks swaying the rails
As quarters and halves enter the cooler
And the door slams shut, dust
From the bone-saw weighing the air
As blood seeks the lowest place to mingle, to thicken,
The smell of the blood, band-saw wheels fresh oiled and torquing,
Cigarette smoke rising lazy to the lights, blue sockets
Of shoulders opened, back-straps laid bare and set upon scales
Liver, heart, tongue, tripe, and the brains of veal-calves thrown to
buckets, splashed with brine,
The tallow-slick knives washed, sharpened, and spread across
the bench to dry.
I watch the air become
Si,si,si,si of a migrant bird unknowable.
Last night I glimpsed storm through slits between trees.
Whispered home to the lightning
Which came down and came down then vanished.
I breathed in ozoned gusts
Realizing that with truth comes damage.
Knowing it now and vigilant.
Truth will not replenish our lives.
It depletes us for its own design.
Will crack our bones for the marrow if we let it
And we must let it. As a snag stands, smolders still.
As a questing of starlings sprail before me
Across a road into traffic.
Truth is there and there and here among weeds
Where a body of a doe ripens with morning.
Some say nothingness is the ultimate truth.
Nothingness does not make the orchard blossom.
I look in the mirror. I see my life.
I say to it, you can have me now, in this light
In trees I see through, but not beyond.
Kevin Goodan’s latest book, Winter Tenor, was published in May 2009 by Alice James Books. He currently resides on a small farm in Joll, Idaho.