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This poem is taken from PN Review 152, Volume 29 Number 6, July - August 2003.

Self-Story as Spheres of Egyptian Industry Monica Ferrell

1. Cattle Stable

Cattle are being fattened for slaughter in the stable. One of the cattle is so fat he can no longer stand.

A black mark against the wall where he went down
On his knees, and the man still feeding him,
Hay coming out of the mouth in stalks -
How very carefully he rests on those knees, like a good
Girl holding them, under a skirt, trembling together -
And the other cow next to him, now beginning to scent
His finishedness, while in the farther room
All the other face away: poised: about to drink.

The man at the door is crouching; he holds something
Hard, and the door is open, and night
Night is shining like the end of time
Like the desert contracted to an eye,
And the river rushing so audibly, like the sound
Of his mother rustling softly into a farther field.
...


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