he shears the goats and the sheep at the end of april,
in the too-warm-for-wool weather. sweat
beading thickly under the blade.
now, a lightness.
now, a dress
dropped to the floor of his bedroom,
a red polyester blend,
like blood in the grooves of an altar.
these are the table legs wrenched free.
toss them out the window.
these are the dusty saw nails bunched in the purse of my skirt like snap peas.
plant them here,
six rows, for the late summer harvest.
what use have sheep for formica?
if he called it sacrifice, would we have believed him?
we wanted the wind to kiss us.
it was so easy. how gentle.
how tender that knife.
how we loved even the hand that held it.
he said he loved best
the way i made a shivering animal between his palms,
so i made myself smaller still.
to take apart the wrong body because
his hand smelled of goat blood
in the place he touched with the sheeping shears,
in the place he dug with the cleaver,
for every soft thing he has culled.
oh my wooly darlings,
i loved the blade so much
when it cut the heaviness free.
Danie Shokoohi is a Boston-based writer with a BA in political science from the University of Iowa. Her fiction, poetry, and non-fiction have been previously published in Plain China Press, Moonchild Magazine, Vassar Review, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry. She currently works as a prose reader for The Blueshift Journal and as the writing editor of Half Mystic Press, where she publishes monthly articles on how music intersects with things such as lake mermaids, Iranian activism, and curmudgeonly spaniels.