No Getting Away


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.

She peeled,

easy as a thumb-poked orange —

white webs pulling at purple flesh as her hide

shimmied down

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

on paper.

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.