You summon up the vulgar
luxury it is to be
a chicken, dawdling along the fenced-in yard

and shitting willy-nilly everywhere.
It doesn’t make it easier
to kill this chicken

but you do it.
You wrench the head back, slit the jugular,
saw roughly through the windpipe.

You squat and watch
the blood drip into the bucket,
the body shuddering like a preacher

whose tongue got caught
in the electrical socket of God,
thrashing in the kind of ecstasy

that believes the darkness
is just another crease
in a cupped enormous hand

that carries all of us like water
rare and liquid through the dryness.
Today you are that hand.

And you say someone folded love
into the blade. That the appetite
which drags it back and forth

is a sacrament
even this chicken knelt to take.
You believe that you are owed this.

That salvation can be willed.

Conor Bracken