Before she died, my mother told me
Iíd make the monster that would kill me,
so I knew this was someone elseís death
creeping into my field, butchering my cow.
I recognized its lone eye and two mouths.
Perhaps it mistook the lowing for the call
of its own kind. I didnít mind the heifer—
sheíd been sick for weeks, her death a mercy—
but her calf circled, refusing to leave even
as the creature pulled out its motherís tongue,
fed one of its mouths and moaned from the other.
The intestines glowed dully in the moonlight.
The calf bawled. The disappointed mapinguari
sat, thousands of worms rising out of the split
heart it held, testing the strange night air.
Iíve outlived all the miracles that came for me.
My mother was wrong and not wrong,
like the calf who approached the monster
and licked the blood from its fingers.
About this poem:
"The mapinguari is the Big Foot legend of the Amazon, though the mapinguari only has one eye and a second mouth in its abdomen. I wrote this poem after a friend suggested I write about something that seemed human but wasn't. I felt like cryptids and other myths must know loneliness better than any of us."