The sow sister in barnyard mud
shifts her crinolines
to one side and lifts her thigh.
Sun beats on her knuckle bones,
“Sow-sister, sow-sister, mind me.”
Not that she doesn’t hear
but staggers to the far grass
staggers and sleeps, her hair
drying fast, stiffening.
Sow-sister, psst, wake up!
Past patience I am boiling you
to nonsense, your hocks and breasts
bone-bold. Your oils melting.
You must thrive, burlap sadness folded
into packet-statues, your cousin beaver’s pelt
stiffened with glue mercury into hats, shining.
Ah, no? Well, so I will tell you a story.
Lie down in my wild mud, slippery and warm.
Now you will hear whuffling far off in a bottle
and the heavens will open with malt. Cooked,
in your mouth you’ll come to know sift
of slivered almonds in vanilla sugar, this story.