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During a Beat Bobby Flay marathon I think —

I should study knife skills
or fish deboning. Have you
ever held fresh, dead chicken? I have
not, though, I have held the freshly severed
foot of a turkey & I have held a child
still red w/ afterbirth. Have you
ever looked at a person’s body & imagined
yourself inside it? No, not like that.
Like, here they are, and here you are,
& now you occupy the same space.
Not two-headed. Not conjoined. No.
Picture this: you and I, cooking in this kitchen.
Your voice on the television, your voice coming out
of my mouth. We will grow accustomed
to each other’s taste & when you depart
from my body, you will be at a loss
for the flavor — my salt? my heat? —
& I will crave the deftness
of your hands, your quick wit
coming from my upturned mouth.


Feast Day

I shuck the snake
her severed head
in the bucket
at my feet
the snake
dead before I
found her
won’t lie still
under the tap
& the deep sash
of blood darkens
my porcelain sink
my own hands
are clean in rubber.
A slender blade
will do the trick,
guided through
her slim body
stump to anus
careful not to nick
meat and bone
fall away
I crave
her gleaming
skin freed
from sinewy
she hangs
from fishing line
tied window to stove
drying while flies
land to pick
flecks of flesh
I catch them
on my tongue
& they struggle
to buzz alive
even as I swallow
their bright pulse
& I am so full
my own belly
splits open
& I am careful
not to nick
my stomach
when I remove
the thin tubes
of bile & blood
filet my hairless
chest, spongey
and dull hanging
next to her If
I didn’t know
better I would
guess this is
where I die
The flies harvest
what’s left of me
while I watch,
guiding their
gentle wings
in and out
of my pursed

Christine Guaragno is an MFA candidate and indie bookseller in Memphis, TN. You can follow her on Twitter @xtine_gmac.






Featured image courtesy of Rebecca Siegal.