By Sage Ravenwood
Content warning: sexual abuse
Eats away at apathy
Fleshes out your skin suit
Gurgling stomach melt Feeding
Lies to an empty belly with what’s left
When the unholy trinity of a man who beds
Your mother before sneaking in your room
Offers slaughter as salvation
Hunger shakes your limbs like
A visiting missionary speaking in tongues
You hold the rabbit you raised
The one that never bit you even
When pellets were scarce
Your favorite lapin with a mix of sable and
Red fur along her ears and underbelly
By its hind legs upside down
Don’t flinch when the billy club
Cracks across the back of her head
Just behind the ears
Let hunger explain away the numb
Stare into the trees beyond
Mute the sound of the blade ripping
Copper Agouti fur from flesh
For a stunned moment wonder did she know
Move in a trance Blood dripping down fingers
As one by one
The hutch empties into a carcass mound
And you wish you had starved
to save the many
Days later clutch the salt-tanned hide
To your face and soften it with tears
Listening to a man gloat about how
He popped your butcher cherry and
Realize we’re all prey
Hunger eats us alive
By Sage Ravenwood
Sitting cross-legged sharing a
crabapple tree’s shade,
through my jeans.
Jade grass caught beneath
fingers, waiting for warmth
to turn its cloak chartreuse.
Morning’s unfurled awakening.
Grandfather Sun is a disco ball
dancing between the leaves;
I become a leopard of shadows.
Daylight knife blades
through cloud haze and orange-
bright eyelids lash fusion.
You can't bottle nature’s wild.
All too soon a jagged vibrato
the bottom of my feet.
The neighborhood chainsaw
lover has begun his day.
Sage Ravenwood is a deaf Cherokee woman residing in upstate NY with her two rescue dogs, Bjarki and Yazhi, and her one-eyed cat Max. She is an outspoken advocate against animal cruelty and domestic violence. Her work can be found in Glass Poetry - Poets Resist. She also has work forthcoming in the Sundress Press anthology The Familiar Wild: On Dogs and Poetry.