She penciled fanciful animals
on tracing paper first, sharpened small
scissors, leaned closer, snipped away
fur, then skin, then subcutaneous fat—
careful now, said her meat-man father,
kneading her shoulder. You must leave
more, keep it tender. Not enough to spoil.
She revised her cut, excised cartilage
and bones instead. Blood’s hard, she said,
so I didn’t draw many vessels. Less mess. Good,
good, said her father. Now you’ve got to decide—
what will you use of organs? She touched
the drawing’s middle. The heart—too obvious? The liver—
too dark, though her father liked a pâté with port.
Lungs too full of argument and air. She cut
her creature’s center whole, clipped slowly
round each rib, laid the guts aside. She couldn’t abide
indecision. Looked at her beast. Looked away.