By the time the game warden came
to add it to his tally, I’d finished butchering
the untagged gut-shot buck, all afternoon
bent over a picnic table heaped
with meat: flesh pared from bone,
trimmed of tallow, cleaned of hair & bloodclot,
ground or sliced & wrapped in glossy paper.
My shadow faded as the clear sky went white.
That night as I linger nude before
the bathroom mirror, my tired eyes
keep practicing their brand-new knack,
sizing up muscle for the proper cut.
A funny thing, to see one’s own corpse
so definitively organized, & thus absorbed,
to ignore the cost of such a sacrifice—
that dead metaphor. I stand slowly
soaping myself in the shower, my mind
a glorious blank, enjoying the way
my back & shoulders relax, paying
no heed to the growing tautness
in my groin. But finally of course
the cock demands its quitrent.
With an absent-minded toe
I push the milky deposit toward the drain.