This article is taken from Stand 234, 20(2) July - September 2022.

Wye Haze song of the cow
song of the cow

                       this piece has your name on it               the butcher will tell you
                                                  as i slide across the board       in his bloodstained fingers
          my marbling will quiver in his palm                                                                i can feel it

                                 the butcher will ask                      how much you want
                                               and the knife will move               like a dance step             through flesh      

                          you’ll look at what’s left                 my fatty edges gleaming like sideways ribbons
                                                                                                  as i’m wrapped in thick white paper
                                 the folds             will remind me          of un-raining clouds

                       meanwhile                 above             the till will sing its coins
                                           the butcher will advise                  on how much pepper          on how                              
          hot the pan       on foil      on butter       on how long         for the softest pink middle     
                       (my tongue            on the clover                is softness                      i can feel)

          you will look         at all the flesh everywhere            stripped completely bare
                       shoulders and ribcages      cheerily hanging            sausages lying        
                                        in rows of stillness      curved as dead stomachs    quiet as dead stomachs
                                                                           (no thunder     no thunder here     summer is over)                    
                           as you leave       the guy six feet behind you        will buy         a garland of garlic      
          later              in bed            as you eat           my juice will drip           down your face
                                like your face is the meat                hanging             maturing           waiting
                  you won’t catch                 any liquid               you’ll not be trying
                                                                                   you’ll be thinking            how you never knew
                                                                       i loved you               so much
          you’ll be thinking           how you never knew        everything          loved you          so much

                                                                           so      hot      tender      much
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