Kelly Weber is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection We Are Changed to Deer at the Broken Place (Tupelo Press) and the forthcoming chapbook The Dodo Heart Museum (Dancing Girl Press). Her work has received Pushcart nominations and has appeared or is forthcoming in The Laurel Review, Brevity, The Missouri Review, Cream City Review, Palette Poetry, Southeast Review, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Colorado State University and lives in Colorado with two rescue cats. More of her work can be found at kellymweber.com.
Devil’s Rope, Testament’s Winter
I met the deer at their trespass
—I crossed the boundary into
the field. I hungered
that bare gold, kneeling
for any gun to shoot me
for what I thieved in the raw
air of the razed corn. Breath
a tether binding me to that cold
sky gone to star, caught
by everything that sharpened
against my ribs: men’s hands
calling me their cunt, forgiveness
for my shivering skin wanting
their praise, mouths
of the dogs I nursed at breasts
of self-hatred and silence to hunt
down others like me.
I came here to be broken in dawn
and its thicket, but not
beneath the knife of a father
to trade for a boy’s tremble.
I know how to sever any angel
from its vow, make myself
clean with the unyielding pulse
of my carotid, light jetting
from the harvest
in the four rooms of my chest.
I came to be undone at the word
just downwind of slaughter.
The cut stalks I stole, truth, fire cleft
at the base of lightning’s reaping,
trying to carry in my fists
back across a blood-morning wire.