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A Gift

What matters in another person? In my dream last night, 
the whole raw chicken came back 

to life, shivering from such a wet death. I showed many friends 
the animal coming to. This is the term 

for when somebody wakes from deep sleep. They come to 
from a nonconsensual black, death 

a nonconsensual black. I ask my class today if they would 
have genetic testing done if it meant 

discovering an incurable disease lay waiting for them, a fox 
stalking at the end of the hollowed trunk 

through which you traveled so far. I was after rhetorical argument, 
critical thought. I have given up.

The chicken comes to and grows a down of awareness. Living
makes it smaller, more precious. Her neck

grows back. What a gentle place to find oneself, a coming to
of a body we never asked for. 

Week after week, I cooked a whole chicken into broth. Initially,
I said I found myself cooking to demonstrate

my submissive will, how I stalked my own tunnel and saw little else
coming my way. I poured broth

into a mason jar, oiled my legs, and fed it to a beautiful hung man.
Oh, the ceilings I’ve stared at,

the cracks and popcorn shapes I counted as a body pushed itself in.
I measured love in the plaster, its commitment 

to form. Poetry questions nothing, it is the shadow of the depleted master,
no longer amazed at its courage. 

In the sun, white ensnared life. The chicken drowns when it fails
to be astonished. You will not find me again.
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