Melissa Atkinson Mercer

took the cow’s back legs, the left eye of the goat she had dressed as the lord our savior, our little tree of moths. It took three fingers from my mother’s hands, hands that had wrapped deer meat in paper, that had sold for today just enough. I mean for the cow she made wings, sinew of toadshade and oak. For the goat, the eye of an elephant: that he might remember. That he might become a creature of the long view. I mean what she asked for, she received. To stand in the oracular here—I would shriek and riot. She tied a scarf across her mouth; she set the clean limbs burning.

Melissa Atkinson Mercer is the author of Saint of the Partial Apology (Five Oaks Press, 2017) as well as four poetry chapbooks, including After the Miracle Season (Seven Kitchens Press, 2017) and Star-Blind in the Family of Fortune Keepers (Hermeneutic Chaos, 2017). Her work has recently appeared in Zone 3, Blue Earth Review, Storm Cellar, and others. She currently lives in the Tennessee mountains.

More by Melissa Atkinson Mercer
Grandmother was cyclopean,
Monster Psalm #13
Monster Psalm #18