elbows i go to a butcher to buy my heart. he sits at a card table with his pigs talking to them as if they're brothers. come to learn they are in fact brothers. my elbows have been growing barnacles & briars. i lean to much on anything & everything i can find. going out to the fields i see the butcher as he burries the cow bones & the pig bones & the chicken bones so they don't haunt him. it is too late for me. every few months i roast my heart & have to find a new one. i lived for years with a plastic bag blowing around in my chest. this morning i just want what is easy. see my reflection in a jar of pickled hooves. wonder if i could peel my elbows off like the skin of an orange. i don't want to hinge anymore. just want to lay flat & talk to the animal shapes in the clouds. the butcher is not my father but i am pretending he is. i want a man to survey me & tell me i look just like i'm supposed to. sometimes i buy mason jars to put my anger in. hope they turn to raspberry preserves. instead, they reek like vinegar. jitter on their shelves waiting to scream. i have not screamed in years. in the fields all the bones are screaming. i wonder if that is what it would take for me to let go. all the meat peeled back. just the raw bone strewn about. tall grass wears ticks like necklaces. says "hush, hush," to the bones. the bones don't listen. oh how i would love to be told what to do & not listen. i rub new ointment on my elbows. it's supposed to make me smooth. i'm not even sure i was meant to be soft.