by on Oct 22, 2015 in Poetry | 1 comment

Despair is suffering without meaning. —Viktor Frankl

As the man slit the bull open, black blood
sputtered from its mouth. He raises hide, peers within,
and removes stomach and heart. He laughs and hauls

a naked woman out from the barn, her wrists and ankles
bound with duct tape. She is toothless, saliva dribbling
from her cracked lips. On her chest, tattoos of moths—

behind her ear, a tattoo of the once whole moon.
He tells me, Create. I blindfold her, fit my fingers
between her ribs, touch the tip of thumb

and pointer as I take hold of her emaciated thigh.
I push her into the carcass feet first. She gums my wrist,
the sleeve of my shirt. I sew the beast

shut with needle and wire, watch grey flesh geyser
as the metal passes through, and then out, and then through again.
When she pleads to me, she asks about forgiveness.

I look to the man. This was begged for, he said.
I watch a horsefly land on the bull’s hind leg.
This was begged for, I said.

image012Zachary Riddle is a graduate student at Central Michigan University pursuing his Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. He works as a graduate assistant at CMU’s Writing Center, and acts as the managing editor of the national literary magazine Temenos. His poetry has also appeared in The Blue Route, Temenos, and The Central Review. After graduation, he aspires to teach creative writing and write scripts for television and film—so long as his nightmares don’t get him first.

1 Comment

  1. I liked this poem. Very creative thinking.

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