watching benny cook chicken
she pries pink flesh from plastic.
two breasts. meat & muscles
once shuddering in their own quickness.
a world of chickens & all their chicken worries.
will my feet pierce the earth? will my face
flightless creature. supermarket glow.
the timer above the stove. she is making chili
like so does on some sundays.
our only pan. a drip of clear golden
vegetable oil. i am doing absolutely nothing
in my room but smelling each step.
all sundays are hopeless like this--
like the horizon is only sinew.
pan's heat rising. benny chops onions
& peppers on the wooden cutting board.
each knife-fall gives a thwack.
we are always cutting down trees.
outside the city is quiet & warm.
soon it will be february & then march
& then more forever after that.
for now it is only january.
meat turns pale against heat.
turns the breast over. a last
little flight. somewhere chicken
gossip about fate. benny & i
we talk about poets & wanting
to write our names somewhere tangible.
i say the wall of the subway car
& she says a paper plate.
of course we are not speaking aloud.
her body moves. she is consulting chicken.
meat loosening its grip.
the last vestiges of a body & an animal.
were we animals once too?
she is covering the pot of ingredients
& humming to herself.