Velvet & Venison

By Katelynne Davis

I have worn a few furs, but you were the finest thing I have draped across my shoulders
The others – just proof-of-kill. You are a trophy. You are here to be shown.
The skin of an animal is easiest to acquire just after the kill so we did not even bother to tell our respective insignificant others first
It’s hard to reach your cell phone when you’re hanging by your feet
No three-four time for indecision
only a waltzing incision, incision
My hands touch you like surgical markers
I know the tenderest cuts
and how to peel off your skin like a sweater –

Have you ever pictured your lover without their skin?
Pounds of red, raw meat, waterslide veins, your baby-back ribs – and fat.
Eyes that never blink
If you haven’t, you have never seen them naked
Intimacy is always a bit grotesque

Post-coitus, your cutis on the drying rack
I only stretch the truth a little when I say your country was founded by fur-traders
You speak volumes of the vellum pulled off lambs,
of the red ink more popular before it dried black
like a pelt out of season…
(From different forests, you and I, but we both hunt North American
December to March, thus began and ended our scouting)
before you could, I sold you and now you hold all her red hair in your arms like a beaver hat
But I kept some
brought to bed like a boyfriend’s t-shirt
like the stuffed animal of the taxidermist’s daughter

After that I killed for fun; I killed for pleasure
as only a human can


Photo by Katelynne Davis

 

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"Between the Trees" by Sara Rich

Donestre

By Sara Rich

Her walk was brisk as the day was too. The days were so short this time of year, with the shortest of them all only a week away.

Her thoughts were preoccupied elsewhere. As Christmas drew near, and Thanksgiving was over, she felt even more the foreigner, separated by an ocean and three languages from the hot hedge-burning fireplace that kept her family’s ranch house warm during wind-strewn and ice-ridden winters on the Great Plains.

As she walked, the cobblestones closing and counting the distance between her flat and the brick walls of the library, urine-soaked by decades of seven-a.m. drunks, she heard loneliness stumbling along after her, disguised as yellowed leaves whirling toward the backs of her feet.

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Glitches come naturally to all living earthlings,

above and below and in the in-betweens.

Some of us too small and some too be big;

some too hard and others too soft.

And others too wet while others too dry.

There are those of us who won’t walk,

but reach up for the sky and others who run,

searching for their appetite.

As one species multiply and the others divide,

programmers beyond sought equal sides.

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