A Terrible Meat-Eating God

after Edward Hirsch

Rolled in butter and herbs my body is a succulent sacrifice and the god takes me in his mouth bit by bit, moaning at the taste of me. His tongue is cat-rough, his teeth straight and white like the feeder system of a great whale. He licks me off his fingers and pieces of me re-converge in his belly. There’s a thin layer of slush down here, sloshing back and forth. It smells holy dank. I clamber onto his heart with my wet feet tucked beneath me and I rub my eyes with bloody hands, waiting for daylight on a shore with no birds, only the hush of waves and the thin promise of morning in the garden of eating.

Holly Lyn Walrath