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Untitled by Emily Noyes

A tan calf,

soft chest fat pulling

across turning muscle,

strays from the cattle clustered

in the fog of their breath,

through the field rimmed

with frost-faded grass cut

by asphalt, toward the noise

of a truck turning on to

the dirt road to the dock where

a seagull tugs at an opened snake

in grey and red sopping mud.

Wind whistles from field to water,

pinpoint drops of rain tracing

hollow letters on concrete crosses

rising from the pasture hill,

the bird tugs strings of snake

from its stomach. Its head jerks up,

dead-bead eyes fixed

on the stone-spitting pickup,

red cab catching corners of the sun

and tossing them across the brush and

sand and the khaki knees

of men in Carhartts leaning rifle butts

against the wood-carved reserve sign

decorated by a splintered goose,

its bill pointing up to the sky

above the calf’s pasture.

The seagull unfolds itself, pressing up

on pink toes and flies.

About the Author

Emily Noyes is a part time Nazi-vampire huntress and a full-time badass. She grew up in Compton and the Bronx and vacations in the burning towers of ilium. She wrote Hamlet and was the actual literal sixteenth president of the United States. She once fought a rhinoceros.