For Angela Vanden Elzen
You tell me that you know how to take a thyroid out of an animal, extract it for medicine in a time of need. I think of the art of the field dressed deer, my brother and father wielding an autumn-glint knife, splitting hide and quarters so easily, like hands parting water. The edges of things are always the most taut. So imagine your hands stained with blood. Survival and guilt petaled in your head like a flowered crown. Say what you will, to live is to love. To love is ruthless.