by Eric Dovigi
Elk-Jerky No. 1
O! the wonder of the sometimes-there firecow!
sister of thundergoat! bride of the red hat!
extinguisher of brush flames on wheat tops,
knower of grass and herb, bearer of calves.
O the sometimes wonder of the firecow!
O! the harrowing desire of the kerosene-lamp!
bringer of sweetness and light, coveter of corners,
perambulator of shadows up narrow stairs,
giver of tales to pre-electric childhoods,
wonder of the homestead, marvel of the cabin,
O! the strange desire of the kerosene-lamp!
O! the curious patience of the hummingbird!
finder of pollens and spores,
buzzer of pleasant decibels, drawer of ears,
admirer of the common earthworm,
I bow to you.
This fatly stuffed globe, this great series of tower-tops lashed together and cobbled,
(so that every inch of ground is a great height)
this wonderful succession of sighs and colors,
how good it is to rove to and fro here.
This offered prize made a gift by the taking,
let no one say they wish to die early.
who curses the host?
who pulls up grass?
I saw a man in a yellow field eat a great bite out of a dried elk-flesh strip.
He chewed, watching a cloud of starlings go somewhere.
I thought about how good it was, after all, that he should eat elk.
A bite out of something that ran, that was a castle of life,
That ate other little things, that was born of a long line,
That was part of the yellow of the yellow of the field.
And this tiny man, a poor thing, not wise, shorter than wheat,
Took a bite out of an elk.
I think this is a good thing.
It makes me a little less small, a little less foolish, to eat of elk.
I’m filled up with the yellow of things, with this fatly-stuffed globe, which I love.
Bio:Eric Dovigi, MFA, lives in Arizona. His piece 'Here is a list of words I prefer' was the 1st place winner of Grist Literary Journal's 2017 Pro Forma contest. His story 'The Nova of Taft' was Westwind Journal's Winter 2016 Fiction contest winner. Other work of his can be found online at: Waxwing, Hobart, Flash Fiction Magazine, Blue Planet Journal, and elsewhere.