effigy

[in the middle of the concrete floor
a drain]
years later the who was crouched there paints the whole picture
the blood & milk
swirling toward the lowest point in the room
just as years later we will sit in the auditorium & watch
what she went there to document
the artist’s slides of the true animal agony
the great slashing hooves useless & the thin streams of milk & blood
braiding the floor
not Jacinda’s story exactly of the Ivory Coast
& the interminable bus from Abidjan into the countryside
on the roof a live goat
strapped among the sacks of corn [in the middle
of the concrete floor] all day the thing existing in the African sun & when
they finally stopped for concessions
for the wine-dark dienga brewed from the hyacinth
from a small hill in the distance Jacinda watched it convulse body seemingly
wracked with electricity
eyes swollen shut the yellow foam pouring like language
from its mouth *please note* I haven’t [in the middle of the concrete]
changed accordingly
from the stage the artist tells us the men have gone home
left the broken animal where it is consequently the subject tries to right herself
her hind legs broken
the muscles themselves pulled from the bone by her own body weight
where she’d been hung on a hook which she kicked herself
off of & fell
once upon a time my leg went bad
& I sat in my own urine for fifteen minutes the body’s fluids cooling
[in the middle
of the] until I willed myself to move
all night the subject tries to rise the blood & milk pooling around her
after my leg went bad
there were three incisions each one tied shut
like a roast after that Jacinda saw it everywhere
in the market
in the blanched face of the trickster moon
the whole neural world convulsing & swollen the foam thick as gruel
the artist taps
the mircrophone because the assembly line doesn’t stop
for such things she says the subject was left alive until morning
all night
[in the middle of] the penned herd watching
later I told my sister I woke cold & crying & that the nurses just looked at me
in the O.R. my blood
running off into a stainless steel grate
the pain something I couldn’t get out from under
I lie I am lying I used to lie
I lie habitually the body the heart the leg
pieced together w/steel the wanting to change & the inability to
the analogy of faces
the truth is the one w/the brown hair rubbed my shoulder
tried to soothe me *note well* the artist’s form *note well* can’t be argued with
the long wet looks
of the other cows in the holding pens their large wet eyes
trained on the broken one progressively habitually trying
shattered in the
middle of the killing floor the drain
the truth is my true shattering is moral
I wasn’t forgotten
[in the Greek middle voice the subject does something actively
hoping the consequences of said action will return to it][in middle voice
the subject does something actively
hoping the consequences of said action will return to it]

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