I killed the boar above the low rise with strewn sagebrush.

The breath in his punctured lungs continuing to wheeze out

as his feet kicked into the earth looking for an escape.

A tidy murder. Clean, they said, not bad for a first time.

 

They tore into our bellies with a buck handle knife.

Fistfuls of tacky fat dumped on the dirty scrub. Bloody meat

produced from the cavity. Membrane and muscle cut away.

The knife occasionally glancing off my ribs as they cut away

the last parts of me.

 

Villaraigosa looks over to me, blood specks like fine pins

tattooing his face and he asks how I’m feeling…

 

How can I tell him that I have ascended a stairway,

making sure not to look back to the landing

below that is being consumed by the pillar of fire.

 

Paul Macomber

Paul Macomber earned his BA in Literature from Cal State San Bernardino and his MA in Management from the University of Redlands. He currently teaches at a public high school in Redlands, California. Outside of the classroom, he loves to travel with his wife anywhere that has buildings older than the ones in California. His poetry has previously been published in The Pacific Review.

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