Unbeknownst to intrepid youth
There was a slaughter going on
Right outside his front door.
Earlier the family had mentioned
Going into the city to buy
A sheep, so it was no surprise
When on was chained to the fence.
He stayed inside, the family
Turned phantom, so outside he went.
His eyes met with skin laying flat
On the grass; A small tub of chunky
Blood and ribs cracking in the wind.
No one in the family knew how,
So they called the one man who did;
In this village, everyone can do
Something, but not everything.
This man was the slaughterer.
He hung haunches on nails sticking out
Of the side of the house, their purpose
Once an illusion now made clear,
Flayed the hooves off the skin,
And cracked the neck to decapitate.
The youth never saw the kill,
But saw the fruits of their labor:
A vat of glowing innards,
Courage, sanguine, elation, sorrow,
All humors soaking in themselves.
The cleaning was anything but,
A messy affair that took two women,
Because that’s what women do,
I suppose, which lead to the cooking.
It wasn’t much more than boiling
All that could be boiled,
After stuffing the tracks and chutes
With stiffened blood, soft and moist,
Served in the pot where they once soaked.
Papers filled with politics and rumors
Of some day long since gone
Laid on the table to keep the cloth
From unwanted spots
That fill the room with the smell
Of yesterday’s meal.
Brandishing knives with hungry eyes,
Slicing pieces of sameness and
Stuffing them greedily into their mouths,
The youth looked on and at
The piece of what he only thought
He knew was through gestures
The mother pushed fat,
The brother disliked fat,
The sister chewed loudly
Before giving herself hiccups,
Then all left as quickly as
They came, leaving behind
Everything as it were;
The young man stood and left
For he felt that’s what
Drinking the water meant.
Author’s note: I feel this one is pretty self-explanatory. Just a quick exercise is poetic narrative. I was not a fan of the kidneys I ate, but at a later date, I ate some guts fried in dough, and they were pretty bearable. Deep frying makes everything taste better, I suppose. “Drink the water, follow the customs” is also a traditional Mongolian phrase. If you didn’t guess, it bears a similar meaning to “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”