22 July 2010 | Vol. 10, No. 2

The Animal Husbandman's Letter to His Wife

I pulled a pocket watch from one of the

bodies tonight. It looks very old, has

diamonds as white as the droppings of an

aspen married in ash to a new earth.

Our sweet extinct are cheering in heaven!

I think we'll be rich. The meat factory

is going under. The heifers are thin.

This last one must have died some time ago.

Tonight, I will clean it better and see

if the rust has grown inside the narrow

chambers of its copper heart. There's hope all

around: a sieve for our tiny sparrow.

They say the smallest hole can catch enough

light to take pictures as round as a womb.

Time is falling through our fingers and all

around there's no room. Your own lullaby

of fever delivered at dusk—littlest

bird. The next thing we know, it's smoking dawn.

Our dreams in the night made hungry by skies

far blacker than the maximum of sleep.

I found a watch that can keep time. It's ours,

with a chain as long as the hair of a

beauty queen, your belly filled by its tide.

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About the author:

Melissa Cundieff-Pexa lives in Nashville with her husband, Chris, and daughter, Wren. She will attend Vanderbilt University in the fall as an MFA candidate in creative writing in poetry.

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 10, No. 2, where "The Animal Husbandman's Letter to His Wife" ran on July 22, 2010. List other work with these same labels: poetry.

42opus is an online magazine of the literary arts.

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