The Chicken; Like Pisces
By: Amanda Schroeder
I am out of luck.
Out of it.
Out on the street.
I am out of my mind
and I’m out on the street
in the outskirts of the city that you left.
I am a chicken,
soft flesh too willing to succumb to the pressure of a knife,
and late at night
when I hear you have gone to bed
I sneak to the
kitchen to carve out the meat
on my thighs, pulling
it softly off my bones,
knife held like a surgeon holds the scalpel on his first day on the job,
shaking, strained, but
with the confidence that something important
I am thinking
of reasons to go outside.
Pulling them out of nowhere.
Making a hobby out of it.
I am trying to
go outside a little more.
I am sitting with you
at the table. It’s here
where we gorge ourselves
on whatever we can salvage, wishing
we could eat
until our bones explode under
the pressure of the fat on our frames. I think
‘There are only so many things
I can give to you and I don’t think they
will ever be enough to fill you up.’
I will try to feed you, using the meat off my bones,
but this season of my life has me starving and
I hardly have anything left for myself.
There are better
times of the year to be a chicken than right now.
I am out in the yard. I look
out and see nothing that I recognize.
It is here, in the place where I learned what I am,
that I run out of memories that keep me glued
to my unrequited outward bound messages
highlighted in a sickening hue on a pixelated screen.
I demand “consume me.”
And I thank you when you oblige me the
only thing I can understand.
You don’t need to leave anything,
just eat until there is nothing left.
My body can join your own
in a perfect union, forever a contingent
of the proteins that form you.
I was always meant to be consumed.
We’re out together
tonight, for the first time in awhile, and when
I look out to the end
of the street where we’re walking,
our hands clasped so carelessly,
all I see is who we once were
from the outskirts of who we are today.
Angry/ /glistening with sweat/ /horrified at my own uselessness/ /Waiting for the
moment of clarity, when everything / /pieces itself together/ /like Pisces (under
water)/ /Screaming and crying in your car//my head on your shoulder, the vibrations
of your voice trembling through your body/ /and finding a home in mine/ /I am
waiting for the waves to hit the shore/ /hoping that this time I am close enough to
measure their power for myself/ /My understanding is limited to my brain/ /and right
now, this is/ /where the pressure builds/ /The AC pumps water inside the car and/ /
since I never learned to do anything but mimic/ /my lungs follow suit/ /I can’t breathe
and you’re laughing with your whole body, like/ /even the breaths you take have to one
up me/ /So I’m going to sit with you and/ /forget what to say/ /I am going to wait
until/ /I feel nothing. Until/ /the water in my lungs has sat with me for/ /so long that I
have forgotten the pleasure of breathing.
Amanda Schroeder is an American-Canadian writer living in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has an undergraduate degree in English literature from the University of Utah and plans to attend graduate school in the near future.