||Sonnet While Killing a Chicken
The most important thing a girl can learn
is how to kill a chicken for a meal
to please a man, so she begins to turn
the bird by neck and bound feetthis skill real,
precise, my mother wringing damp bath towels
and snapping them on our rumps like the neck
snaps in the hand, wings sputtering, bowels
release shit. The bird, its broken neck thick
with draining blood, is lowered to a tub
and bathed in scalding water. Feathers pulled
like flowers from roots. Feet sliced off. Wings nubbed
like a girl's new-formed breasts. Tender meat culled.
The chicken flat on its dead back. The knife
just above its neck. The girl. The first slice.