By Diana Khoi Nguyen
A husband puts an afghan over the dead goat’s
torso, combs the knots out of  her beard.
The goat smells chalk, wonders when the riders
will come in their wool pakols red from walnuts, spurs
chirring like castanets. The buzkashi whips
will grow damp in their mouths, their rope belts
slowly twisting in place. She knows
not to be devoured is a perfect sentiment
because she has thoughts to gather, faces to grow,
hunger this morning and no throat, only
the song in her teeth that goes on
indefinitely as he saws off each hoof, just
above the ankle, her knees bent for praying.
Her head is axed. Her collar
falls to the ground, its circle unbroken. She looks to see
how deep is the pool of  blood is a river
of  no one becoming her. With salt in her heart
she’ll stay good for days. He’s been to her like her father
he killed. He’s been to her like the father he killed.
He turns her face to the window: mountains
oddly still in the milk broth of oblivion. Intercourse:
the sun drove a man in the ground like a stake.

Source: Poetry (October 2013).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2013
 Diana Khoi Nguyen


Diana Khoi Nguyen lives in Pennsylvania, where she is completing her first manuscript. Recent poems have appeared in The Collagist, Memorious, and OmniVerse.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Activities, Eating & Drinking, Nature, Animals

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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