I scraped the roots of a cypress tree and unearthed grubs
that tasted like metallic silver that stained the mountain.
She caught crimson butterflies and popped them into her mouth.
Afterwards she doubled in pain and threw up fragile wings.
They are too beautiful to eat.
We grazed on grass like bison but it too made us sick.
Starving, we followed the red lions
and stole their prey’s bloody remains,
even though flesh had been forbidden us.
It was she who devised our stratagem. It was always she.
We shall sacrifice one tenth of the kill to him
and worship the sacrificed. From then on we ate meat
and became one with the sacred kill.
Copyright © 2006 by Keith William Harvey. All rights reserved