Home > Poetry > After Another Argument I’ve Come to Regret
Published: Wed Jul 1 2009
Wosene Worke Kosrof, The Inventor V (detail), 2022, acrylic on linen. Courtesy of Sullivan Goss Gallery, Santa Barbara, California
After Another Argument I’ve Come to Regret

I’ve hung a severed deer leg in the tree behind the house
_           _ so that the dogs, sweet demons, don’t get into it again

and return to gnawing the hair and gristle and rotten flesh
_           _ from the bone. When you and I fight, and sometimes

we fight all the time—politics, toilet seats, and the truer
_           _ contentions they stand in for—I want to walk to the tree

and see again how dark appetites have forced me to discard
_           _ a limb in the crook of an alder at the base of a hill

so crossed with game trails they appear as stretch marks
_           _ on a giant, hay-colored breast. The proverbs

I remember say tenderness, mercy. Make it the leg
_           _ of a child, the perfect black hoof become a pale

sickle of what was such new skin. And the dogs no less
_           _ hungry, no less ready to take their meal.

Keetje Kuipers is the author of Beautiful in the Mouth, which won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize and will be published by BOA Editions in the spring of 2010. In the fall of 2009, Keetje will begin her tenure as a Stegner Fellow. She lives in Missoula, Montana with her labradoodle, Bishop. (updated 6/2009)

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