Rabbit Heart

Carey Blankenship

I.

I grew up

watching my grandfather

slit the throats of rabbits

hang them parallel from the sky

and let them drain.

For respect.

The grass never quite grew

right in that stained spot.

Grandma kept the legs

in a top kitchen drawer.


II.

Grandpa liked to visit the

golden laced woman:

Forgive me, Mother, for I have

sinned.

He was never a church-going man,

but in her caravan tent

he would bring his shackles

pray for her predications

to fit perfectly in the mechanisms

of his labyrinth,

to unfasten the latch,

but she never did shatter

the iron.


III.

Heathen

Grandma called her,

whore

gypsy.

Grandpa never showed grandma

the shackles.
 
IV.

I asked the golden woman to tell me the future.

She grinned and said,

“People think just because I’m a gypsy

I can make her obey.

Ain’t nobody tell the future.

the future has no business being with us.”

​V.

No matter how many times he

visited the witch

she could not remove

the blood crusted shackles

from calling that boy

a queer

until his own rabbit heart

stained the grass.


VI.

I still play the cards

hold the holy tarot

remember the way grandfather’s wrists stayed bound

and hope that the future

decides to tangle with me.

Fall, 2016 Issue

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