Hooves were forbidden, but she fed us
stringy liver, thick tongue, gray kishkes
crammed with something soft. She had a bulb
of garlic, a handful of salt, some wretched carrots.
Drew out blood with salt, clamped her grinder
and fed chunks into it and forced them down.
She let me turn the crank, and red worms
fell to the bowl. I ate according to the Law
and the cow's flesh became my flesh.
Now I lower my head to eat, moan when I wake
from the fear dream, the one where we shove
one another down the ramp toward the violent
stench and the boy's knife. He lifts his arm
in a rhythm I've always known.