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About this poet

Leah Naomi Green grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, and received an MFA from the University of California–Irvine. She is the author of the chapbook The Ones We Have (Flying Trout Press, 2012). She teaches at Washington and Lee University and lives in Rockbridge County, Virginia.

Venison

The deer is still alive
in the roadside grass.
In an hour, we'll cut her open, 
her left hip broken, the bone 
in her dark body; now the white Camaro 
shocked in the night and the boy

wet-faced in the back seat, 
his parents at a loss 
by the hood, too young 
to have meant any of it: the giving 
or taking.  They are glad 
for our headlights, glad for our rifle. 

Her head still on, she hangs 
outside our kitchen window 
for the blood to drip, skin
pulled down like a shirt.

I watch my husband undress her 
with a knife.  I wash the blue plates. 
When I turn the water off, I can hear
his blade unmoor muscle, sail 
through her fascia. 

We put her leg and buttock 
on the wooden table, where we 
will gather her between us 
to eat all year.  It is all I ever see:
a thing, alive, slowly becoming my own body.

Copyright © 2014 by Leah Naomi Green. Originally published in Ecotone Magazine. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2014 by Leah Naomi Green. Originally published in Ecotone Magazine. Used with permission of the author.

Leah Naomi Green

Leah Naomi Green

Leah Naomi Green is the author of the chapbook The Ones We Have (Flying Trout Press, 2012). She lives in Rockbridge County, Virginia.

by this poet

poem
“It is your very self” I tell him.  
He has never seen me.  

His quick coin of breath disappears on the glass as it forms: air 
that feeds his bones their portion

willingly as it feeds mine.  He spends his here, 
besieged by the dull birds who gather 

and whom he cannot touch, his own feathers 
red as wrought
poem
“God is an infinite sphere, the center of which is everywhere, the circumference nowhere.”
                                                              —Borges


1.

The peony, which was not open this morning, has opened,
falling over its edges 

like the circumference of God, still clasped 
at the
poem
I cut a cantaloupe from its rind and hold it, scalped 
and slipping.  Inside it, there are seeds in folding rows, 
dark in the concentric hollow, and I don’t know how 
I will remove them, 

and I don’t know how they keep one another, 
in loose grasp, from falling, 
or what they would touch if they fell.

Washing