leather photograph

the cow was our dream of permanence.
she would wondered towards us from 
all furrows of the town. ready to step into
a framed memory of our faces.
i am forgetting every plastic lawn chair
& replacing them with window shopping.
cows in the windows & cows wearing 
prom dresses & cows sporting straw hats.
skin for skin. as a child
i ate so much meat. each time it rained
cows laid down inside me. i slept
underneath a square of orange cheese. 
grazing on shredded paper. this morsel
was a whole fist of taxes.
in my wallet i keep a condom in case
i might need it. i know this defeats the purpose.
friction can cause the apparatus to tear.
but don't we all want an inch or two
of unearned comfort. the cow does. 
she scrapes a name from a tongue 
& decides it means she won't become 
a durable pair of shoes. what do you think
of scrap booking everything
& burning the house to ash? 
more eco friendly if you ask me. 
it is totally possible to survive 
on plots of yesterday. your face 
so round & bright it could be
just a rubber ball. the cow is waiting 
on the sidewalk for someone to lead her
to her machine. archways for undoing
her muscle from bone. she says,
"i would like to be a photograph."
you lie to her & tell her that is 
exactly what she will be. preparing her skin
you try to find a sunset. flesh is flesh
is flesh. no light at all. just 
horizon seams & blood.

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