silverware placement

we found the animal carcass
in the road on the way home.

it was mangled and unrecognizable,
but we opened our palms, where the
skin was most accustomed to blood,
and brought it home. we made it a
bed and begged it to wake up.

weeks passed and more of it fell
away. we found ourselves sewing
our own skin to its surface, asking
it to be whole. we pleaded with
its limp remains, we asked for it to
tell us what we were doing wrong. 

each time it did not answer, we
had trouble speaking on car rides
home. the bed we had made for
it grew black with decay, and
we did not know how to clean it,
so we called it beautiful and
ate dinner next to it to the sound
of careful silverware placement
and shallow breathing.

and we, empty of something
we never had.

we, missing the warmth of
something we found, cold.

—  “the story of the carcass.” by Emma Bleker