The meat was shaped like a heart. White grocery light reflected off plastic wrap pulled over a yellow Styrofoam hull. It was lamb shank inside. Two dollars and some change. Manager’s special. I was drawn to the baby pink of the flesh, the white streaks of fat and the silver skin, blue in the glow, I’d have to pry loose with a good knife and a firm finger. Mostly, though, I was drawn to the bone. White like the fat that clung to it, the bone looked like a blade pushed right through the pink meat-heart. It looked like a killing weapon. I never cooked a shank before, but I know how to cook cheap meat. I know how to turn it deep brown and make it melt, to surrender, in a bath of warm liquid. I know how to flavor it with carrots and celery and onion and garlic. To sharpen it with cheap red wine. To thicken it with a spoonful of tomato paste and warm water from the tap. To give it winter breath with rosemary leaves. Then all you need is time. I know how to wait. A few hours. How many? Who knows? When the meat, dark as a cave, pulls away in thin strands with the gentlest nudge of a fork. It’s ready when it’s done, the long-dead voices whisper, winking. The flesh pulls in a ball away from the bone showing more of the flat edge. That bone, rounded at one end and flat at the other, feels the same as your own shin. Run your fingers along it, below the knee and inside, and tell me it isn’t so.

[Diagram: Anatomy of a Pregnant Sheep, date & artist unknown]

rain is good
bare wood pencils are good
sticky notes are good
dim lights are good
laying in bed all comfy and cosy is good
being able to communicate nonverbally is good
cuddling is good
birds are good
cats are good
drawing is good
writing is good
yarn is good
knit hats are good
soft things are good
fairies are good
bugs are good
paint is good
gentle words are good
water is good
food is good
comfortable clothes are good
rest is good
love is good
happiness is good
plants are good
felted animals are good
painting is good
sleeping is good
stuffed animals are good
books are good
scarves are good
soft lamps are good
cute socks are good

How This Ends

A bit of #micropoetry defiance for folks what need it today…

I know how this ends

With me smeared across the pavement
As if Pollock painted the word “hubris”
And your step unbroken.

I know how this ends

With my ghost screaming obscenties
Like the way my father used to scream
At football matches on the telly

I know how this ends

When the unstoppable force
Meets the extremely movable object
And physics proves it is sturdier than biology.

I may as well call you time
For all that I can halt you.

I may as well call you tides
For all that I can change you.

But I *will* call you bastard
As I choke on your fists
For that is what you are.

I know how this ends

My last breath less than a memory
The wind blowing the last mote of me
Into the path of your knuckles.

I know how this ends
But still I will stand between you
And them
Until there is nothing left
That can be called “me”.

Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It’s the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.
—  Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum

Monday 8:27am
I woke up with you on my mind.
You called me babe last night —
my heart is still pounding.

Tuesday 10:53pm
Today I realized we won’t work.
What we are is hurting her.
And I think she matters more to me than you do.

Wednesday 11:52pm
I broke things off with you today.
She barely said a word.
I’ve never regretted anything more than this.

Thursday 4:03pm
I shouldn’t have sent that message.
You shouldn’t have been so okay with receiving it.

Friday 9:57pm
I almost messaged you today.
I didn’t.

Saturday 8:49pm
I’m walking around town in search of alcohol.
They say that liquor numbs the pain of having a broken heart.
I want to put that to the test.

Sunday 2:32am
I heard you texted a girl you’ve never spoken to before.
I wonder if it’s because you’re trying to replace me.
I can’t help but wish you weren’t.
I thought I was irreplaceable.

—  a week with you on my mind, c.j.n.