Friday, January 28, 2011

Pet Cow

I only see her in summer; in the winter, some man comes, but not often. Short, sharp fur, scar near her shoulder in the shape of California. Black and white and black. Does not hesitate to shit on me when I get near her tail. Eyes like limpid balls of goo or something I could stick my thumbs into. Liquid dotted by vague filaments, possibly parasites. Some man with cold hands, fingers that feel very rough on her teats. I used to tease my skin open with an exacto knife. Ear surrounded by dark swarms. Slow to look and poke, barely interested in what I have in the hand behind my back. She lets me lift her right front hoof and scrape between her toes with a hoofpick. Someone whose voice she never recognizes, no matter how often he calls. I used to tie the trussing string from the roast beef round my arm till my fingers turned dark. Nyquil hummed me to sleep at night, green buddy, thick mulch tongue. His hands, rough and cold. She's a summer animal: I can't imagine her visible barn breath in winter, her huddling next to other cows through the dirty slats, another one munching on her tail, on the tip of her tail til it bleeds like a nipple.


Maria Garcia Teutsch said...

fabulous rhythm which builds and rests and builds and builds. love the pacing.
maria garcia teutsch

The Plath Diaries said...

Absolutely beautiful words.

Christine said...

Thanks, Maria!

And thanks, Plath Diaries -- I, too, am doing my dissertation on Plath, among other writers.