I Am to My Own Heart Merely a Serf

Holly Coddington

My father wants a sky burial.
He boils cow skulls in 30 gallon drums
brains and gelatinous sea
ripple of axons, dendrites, tissue   
turn to suds like beer. 
My mother and stepfather bought plots 
because there was a 2 for 1 special. 
They insist on pine boxes because
it’s better to travel somewhere unfamiliar
eat the food. 
We grew up in the garage 
amongst the large heads of deer, 
the slow drip of blood, pools, and mirrors. 
When she crawled in the tree and howled we knew 
the quickest way to the basement
& when Vernon told Erin to run 
we knew that his body would catch and snap like a whip. 
In the morning when I stab my egg and watch 
the cool yellow ooze out, I know I have learned 
from what I have seen & when I broke a stone 
over the neighbor boy’s head because he called 
my brother a faggot I know 
I could have done worse.