Just this once
I told myself to watch,
stood with my shoulder leaning on the wooden post
holding up the roof of the porch.
Out by the shed
he shoved a metal rod through the doe’s Achilles
and hoisted her hand over hand
to hang from the elm.
easy as a thumb-poked orange —
white webs pulling at purple flesh as her hide
past her vacant eyes, to brush at the tips of grass.
Her back legs were splayed,
chained to the bough.
A thick stick
wedged between the ribs
held her open as she steamed into autumn air.
Reaching inside her chest,
he stripped her
tenderloins along the spine,
held each one between the blade and his thumb
before he laid them glistening
I crept inside,
turned my back to the door.
On the foyer floor, even sunlight cast through leaded transom
looked like sinew marbled by leaded veins.
Lorrie Ness is a poet working in Virginia. Her work can be found at Palette Poetry, THRUSH Poetry Journal, Typishly and various other journals. She was twice nominated for a Best of the Net Award by Sky Island Journal and she was a featured poet at Turtle Island Quarterly in 2021. Her chapbook “Anatomy of a Wound” is forthcoming from Flowstone Press.