Hefting a chicken and holding a string,
your voice returns to me unbidden:
“Please,” against my neck that long, slick
afternoon. I shut out your whisper and stuff
butter and garlic down the chest cavity.
Cleaned, plucked, cold weight on my fingers,
it needs salt - but, kaleidoscopic, those crystals
resolve into your face jeweled with sweat - saltier
than the fowl I grip, to forget. Unresponsive, its spine
ignores these final insults: I tie down
its small elbows, twine a slow unwinding
(your scarf curls slowly off your neck, wind-blown)
hunched over chicken, sprinkling limbs with thyme,
the oven’s hot, my will - that bird - has flown.