by Lindsay Wilson
First, she says, put a shine to the knife’s edge,
find your eyes along the gut hook’s
find the wheelbarrow
beside the rock pile, find the path to the back
knuckled pasture, where we keep the kids feral,
letting them say goat all day. Before you aim
through the horns and down
so that the bullet unhinges the maw
into its broken-toothed wound,
make sure to stake the hounds to leash.
Before you slit the throat
above the draining bucket,
rope the hind legs in their last kicks
from the limbs of the budding cottonwood,
and then prepare yourself for how much blood
will leave the kid.
Do not waste it.
To keep it smooth, untroubled, stir in a long
throat full of burgundy. The dogs will taste
the spiced-blood air then bay
and pull on hunger’s leashes.
From where you stand, knife in hand
dripping from a throat,
the loud hounds will look
like red flecks against spring’s young, green grasses.