winter of the acned year

beneath the quilts piled on us, i silenced with my hands
the loud wet thing that would not let me sleep

pawed myself to dog-panting at the remembered eyes
of the man who had slaughtered a ram before me

it flagged a dehydrated tongue, flat pupil parallel to the earth
hurled its horned head like a slingshot. then hoofed, kneeled

i watched the butcher disassemble the animal from the car
over his head, halal insisted in red coils no wrongdoing

my mother, returning to the driver’s seat, appetited for its glistening liver
the organ in white paper followed us home, where she cubed it into meal

i recalled its size, its flab texture, the bleat
its oil swarmed my mouth like a vow

i try to find redemption

tribute to sara hegazy on the day of her suicide

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