Sam Sax

Animal Kingdom

my brother shaved the word
blue into the side of a living goat
& called it free advertising

we laughed every time we drove
past their pen. as the fur grew in
the word faded into a neat sepia
& then a thin memory.

i care most for animals in books

my love for my dogs grew
unspeakably after each died
& still never seemed to match
the limbic sobs of the fern boy
in the fern book.

nostalgia is an animal that refuses
the bridle. it goes & comes from our homes
as it pleases.

at least the microscopic spiders
in your eyelashes get their eating in.
at least the micro-fauna
in your guts, their ecosystem.

when the wind blows
from the east the slaughterhouse
creeps onto campus

blue is the color of my true
love's hair. blue is the blood light
tricked through white skin.
blue is the color of my brother
& my lips after hours of whippets
& weeping & who knows how
we're still here

have you ever seen the eyes
of a goat close up? their pupils
are twin machine dug graves,
they can see nearly 360 degrees
around them, which means
when my brother came for them
with the razor, they saw him
coming, they let him do it.

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