I Guess It’s Too Late to Live

On the farm the white chickens were memes
& they scratched a shit floor.

Their eyes I knew
were yellow, I brought yellow

to the dents that had to be eyes.

To look was to read
a white chicken text.

It had little to do with the birds before me.

A mushy tract
on industry, the state

of present living.
I fixed on one chicken
her shape a pastiche

united in the general chickenishness
I ascribed

to her single fat & wobbling life.

Outside the grow house
a patch of humble yarrow

had white & had yellow & a feathered form.

Yarrow a root
smeared on the wounds of the Iliad

this root hidden
in the dirt on which I walked away.

Was it morning? I faced south
squinting my left eye to the new sun.

Was it night? I walked
my Great American Loneliness
as the chickens slept.

Those men in the Iliad had their limbs
inside me

rendered as they were
from telling to telling

into my matter, text to text.

By what means the chicken flesh?
It bobbed in my chest

bloodless & slick, even then.



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