Meighan L. Sharp

August 9, 2013 Meighan L. Sharp



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.

Meighan L. Sharp writes from Roanoke, Virginia. Her work appears in Crazyhorse, The Florida Review, Cimarron Review, Best New Poets 2010, and elsewhere.