Joseph Haeberle, Feeding Time (Artist Website)
Photograph, Nikon D750

Elbow-deep in a cow’s viscera can only mean
you’re looking for something.

Like an airline rewards program,
this is the next platform, rolled over from the fall

when we carved out the ewe, and then

carved out my own gut.
What’s with all of this hollowing out life—

You got to pull it out with a tractor and keep her insides
in, Mike says. Can you do that?

—It’s all we do.
Empty, pull, push, empty.

Though I’m not sure I’d be able to
keep a steady toe on the lever watching that bovine tongue

drape over teeth filed from
days when there was a warm breeze and grass and no guts.

I would follow her sway-slow steps and slim ribs
back to these afternoons. We'd lie together

in the heat growing from her dark coat,
both of us still whole

and talk about the hands of men and how we can only assume
that's all they have to work with.


Hillary Berg