this pattern of who is alive bothers the yard

I bled when I bit my arm and the yard heard my appeal

cue the rising shape of a trough

this one for pigs

growing slowly in the bloody pig cradle 

these children know

and touch every animal with pupils to prove its character

how you rode the fence south

when I heard I rushed to the fence where my first shadow was wove

a little home of bones calls from the well

a little meat is served to the field

the calm animal is odd

also neck deep

without hoping to hear

I am complicit

I am complicit

and call the animal body down from the mountain, filled and holding stones

to keep back the cold

from a forest of flights and deep pools sympathetic to skin’s pity

lift the house and truck into their new new body

the yard beats and hums as a full cage lined with wire

and grows palpable as you link tendons to connect each face and scalp and body

without loving the thread or the stretch and pull of sounds

a ring of deer doubting the fence feints and sweats out

lines onto the road

approach past lateral trees and turn by the herd

to trace through a darker soil

not intersecting the forest but crawling beneath as a layer to raise

and trouble the forest’s line

to lift and offer it over the yard

in the loft we pack flowers

past the fence and skitter through the animal billow of separate pelts

animal pelts split from holding hollow

among bucolic camps straining with flung fur as ambiance and dark

liquid shunted from the room and body without sensation

flayed and processed in position beneath the gables

a boy values his feeling for reward or imagines bone is only structure

where points of the yard center and arch from the road

                                                                                 swollen for sacrifice beside the river’s full level

eager to hum for a land above to swallow and digest

a marked burial repeats form

to crawl through soil as I bind hand to shovel and knife

in a line below the cellar where tunnels shunt the body parallel to the yard’s hill

turned to slopes and shallows that prepare to cradle a head, noose and neck

connecting the interstice of body and ground

enough anger rolls under your hands drawn from a level animal plane

sound out with pressure on the real

from an arena of bones turned ripe

not wasted but compact for purpose which you guide

as by a finger of string

Connor Fisher was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and currently lives in Denver, Colorado. He has an MA in English Literature from the University of Denver and is working towards an MFA in Creative Writing—Poetry from the University of Colorado at Boulder.