a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
We will be inside and faceless when a robin trips
down our chimney into the living room and trills
thorn blackberry vine recoil—tunnel pill bug
and earthworm too. He ferment, if laid below, and haunt
the wood, a putrid fog. I speak for crab spider spin
in pear blossom (he wilt them), and woodpecker
sleep in oak tree (he push them from their nests).
I speak for creature and green. I speak for dirt.
We will take him not. You must.
The first day, we will puzzle over the song. The ground will resist our spades.
The second day, we will undress you and watch you bloat. We will whistle
at the robin. We will beg for answers. The ground will resist our axes.
On the third day, we will carry your corpse to the kitchen table.
Your open eyes like mayonnaise, will glisten in the lamplight. Your lips
will shrivel and blue. Mom will recite we will take him, plunge her hand
into the yellow belly, and pull out your liver. She will bite
into it and bile will drip down her chin. She will pass the organ
clockwise around the table, for us kids to partake.
This is how we will eat you—sucking even the marrow
(though we bloat and clutch our stomachs) from your bones—
until you are gone. Our intestines will writhe inside us.
Sister will get to the toilet first—the rest of us will scurry to the garden,
dig holes with our hands for shitting in through the night.
Hans Kesling is a poet living in Portland Oregon. They earned their MFA in creative writing, with a focus in poetry, from Indiana University in 2019. You can find their work in Arkana, the Same, T(OUR) Magazine, Gobshite Quarterly, and Oregon Poetic Voices.