Goat by Kain Morgenmeer; for more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/kainmorgenmeer

Goat by Kain Morgenmeer; for more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/kainmorgenmeer

After a Beer

She laughs until the red dye

in her cheeks flows upstream,

staining the whites of her eyes.

 

Sleep pounds at her eyelids,

electricity rolling down.

 

Like pushing open an elevator,

she fights it as she fights me.

 

Her tongue passes currents, muttering:

How horrible you are,

voice slanted like lightning.

 

I’m already attempting

to halt my brain from encoding

this scene into long-term memory.

 

I used to milk my black-coated goat

in the mornings before school.

 

She slams the bamboo door between us.

 

We developed an alliance without words:

most days she’d let me finish

squeezing out her udders

even after she smashed

and swallowed the last of her grain.

 

The door slides open again, my skin burns under her stare.

 

Once, I milked her during a thunderstorm

so that her teats wouldn’t crack open

from holding the extra milk all day.

 

“That was bad, what you did,” her mouth is frozen butter.

 

Her hooves slipped on the milk stand,

both legs flopping onto wet wood.

Kicking and kicking, she flung milk

from the yogurt container and stepped,

poop-covered foot and all, into the froth.

 

“You’ll feel better if you sleep,” I tell her,

voice a lit candle, flickering.

 

I milked and milked while the lightning

flashed everything emerald, saying sorry

while she thrashed, head trying to break free

from the contraption that held her.

 

But of course she doesn’t understand.

Tears splash my face like rain.

Aozora Brockman

About Aozora Brockman

Aozora Brockman grew up on an organic vegetable farm in Central Illinois, and her close contact with chickens and goats made her all the more aware of the ambiguous boundary between humans and animals. “After a Beer” is part of a broader manuscript of poems that stem from experiences she had while caring for her Japanese grandmother, who is battling Alzheimer’s disease. Her creative work has been published in the Split Rock Review and the Cortland Review.

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