Meatpaper zero

Implications for Modern Life
by Matthea Harvey
MARCH, 2007

The ham flowers have veins and are rimmed in rind, each petal a little meat sunset. I deny all connection with the ham flowers, the barge floating by loaded with lard, the white flagstones like platelets in the blood-red road. I’ll put the calves in coats so the ravens can’t gore them, bandage up the cut gate & when the wind rustles its muscles, I’ll gather the seeds and burn them. But then I see a horse lying on the side of the road and think You are sleeping, you are sleeping, I will make you be sleeping. But if I didn’t make the ham flowers, how can I make him get up? I made the ham flowers. Get up, dear animal. Here is your pasture flecked with pink, your oily river, your bleeding barn. Decide what to look at and how. If you lower your lashes, the blood looks like mud. If you stay, I will find you fresh hay.



Originally published in Tin House

Matthea Harvey is the author of Sad Little Breathing Machine (Graywolf, 2004) and Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form (Alice James Books, 2000). Her third book of poems, Modern Life, is forthcoming from Graywolf in 2007. Her first children’s book, The Little General and the Giant Snowflake, illustrated by Elizabeth Zechel, is forthcoming from Soft Skull. Matthea is a contributing editor for jubilat. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence and lives in Brooklyn.

This poem and illustration originally appeared in Meatpaper Issue Zero.

Photo illustration by Sasha Wizansky