THIS LITTLE PIGGY
This little piggy went to market
shrink wrapped on a mattress
of styrofoam. His friend was a real
downer, so she stayed home,
confined to the sow-shaped cell
of the side she dropped down upon.
In her last act, she came out—a closet
Houdini—by escaping the stock yard,
fodderizing her flesh and tunneling
out the gullets of her pen-mates.
“This isn’t roast beef,” effused
the unamused consumer fuming
at the smokehouse, who slid his plate
of pork belly back across the table.
He was starved. And which piggy
could have gotten by with none?
Only the forever underdone one
with its cord freshly cut, popped
like a wet pea from a flesh pod
while mom was quartered
and portioned at the slaughterhouse.
Hungerless, this little piggy lay
still for its transplant to a vacuum
-sealed womb of formaldehyde.
In high school, he and I met
at the scalpel’s tip. With my fingers
deep in the incision I had slit along
his chest, I huffed, puffed and pawed
the stick walls of his ribcage back
until they snapped. Inside, the pearly
maggot of his trachea glistened.
It wriggled it like a digit as I stroked
it with my latex-mittened finger,
riding its length like a road going
nowhere, no cry to sound us home.
By Katie Fewster-Yan, from The City Series: Fredericton
(ed. Rebecca Salazar, Frog Hollow, 2015)(Photo by Kourosh Keshiri)