Farm Prayer


Night comes differently elsewhere.
Here, it’s a tapping on the window.
The sound of a train but no tracks.
A truck, maybe, or snowplow beast.

Two teeth scraping a wide jaw on dirt.
I close my door, let my roommate know
it’s time to be quiet. Then hope I never
have to lube up a thermometer and stick

it into a pig’s asshole, then another one’s,
and another one’s, to compare body
temperatures that are the same as mine. I hope
I never again have to pick up a chicken, flip it

upside down and run warm tap down
its sticky vent. Pass my rubber finger
over a red swell, wash away day old feces
and yellow pus. I’ve learned that before getting

fixed, a male goat will suck his own penis,
ejaculate into his wispy beard, rub it into
a female’s coat. This goes on all day, this
impressive sexual drive. Lions will copulate

a hundred times before lunch.
Maybe these are just stories
everyone tells? Maybe there’s a place
for me in this misunderstanding? I come

home from the farm, kick off my boots.
Close to a cowboy as I’ll ever be.
Hopefully tomorrow I won’t have to pick
an almond-sized booger from a goat’s

wheezing nostril. Someone needs to help it breathe,
but it’s not going to be me. There’s a limit to what
I am willing to experience in this life. The smell
of Ethiopian coffee, roadside poppies, diesel exhaust.


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