Manure’s slick scent rises
like temple incense and fills the stable, wafting
airs of fertility up our young nostrils. Hers
heave harder and faster than mine.
How aren’t these scattered straws
strewn sloppy from their store sprouting
wheat sheaves in such enriched earthen
floors? The stalls of splintered, make-shift planks
(poor oak pairings, peeling from lack of varnish)
reek with life, threatening like the contracting
wife of my youth at any moment to give
up something, begging to burst out
newborn being from fertile, fuming,
furious weight. Only, I know wood well,
and this coming child isn’t mine.


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