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.
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.