Cathexis Northwest Press

© 2018 

The Chicken; Like Pisces 
The Chicken

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

is underway.

 

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. 

Like Pisces 

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.

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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.