A husband puts an afghan over the dead goat’s

torso, combs the knots out of  her beard.

The goat smells chalk, wonders when the riders

will come in their wool pakols red from walnuts, spurs

chirring like castanets. The buzkashi whips

will grow damp in their mouths, their rope belts

slowly twisting in place. She knows

not to be devoured is a perfect sentiment

because she has thoughts to gather, faces to grow,

hunger this morning and no throat, only

the song in her teeth that goes on

indefinitely as he saws off each hoof, just

above the ankle, her knees bent for praying.

Her head is axed. Her collar

falls to the ground, its circle unbroken. She looks to see

how deep is the pool of  blood is a river

of  no one becoming her. With salt in her heart

she’ll stay good for days. He’s been to her like her father

he killed. He’s been to her like the father he killed.

He turns her face to the window: mountains

oddly still in the milk broth of oblivion. Intercourse:

the sun drove a man in the ground like a stake.

Source: Poetry (October 2013).