Spook the Ponies | Laura J. Roha
Layers of them - like deck of cards
shuffled and cut,
Joker in colour
peels her scalp back in to scroll
loops yarn and ties knot.
As a child,
is the smell
of burning wool - spitted?
in fast, runic lines
convulsing down the walls of shearing shed -
Drying until rusted? With eye rims waxen, she will witness
Iron blade searing
the lamb of its tail.
Docked - see it drop- spasm on the grass;
Vivisectioned frog legs, salted - in the same way, jerk.
Or, eating mutton livers at round dining table
under the chair, barefooted - tapping the linoleum like an insect clicking in the half light.
Offal on camber of tongue -
(can a child swallow dreams of tepid viscera - dine with open ulcers? Or is
that only where grown night terrors tuck napkins into collars?)
All these flashbacks are bitter this way: Sliced tamarillo - black seeded - its
juice staining tablecloth.
In slumber, the window-cushioned cat is barely aware of the moon’s flesh -
Whole lunar, husking the hillsides back;
Pry the jaw open. Did you know, felines hold eels in their mouths? Gums –
viscid to the touch.
Smell their breath; hot at the nostril.
You turn away, but she stays to look.
There’s mucus in the maw.