by Kitty Boots

the last snow melted half-way, froze overnight
into an unyielding crust
Felipe and Eladio grinding corn for the goats
drink Budweiser and laugh at us

Kathy carries a cattle prod
bucks are aggressive without the distraction of does
Mariposa, the skinny hound, crawls out from under the trailer
pouncing on the ice as we walk to the barn

weak light seeps through slats
ankle-deep straw muffles footsteps
the smell is female, musky
rich with milk and blood
the uneaten placenta reminds me of my own

I hold twins close to my chest
 rag dolls with glassy marble eyes
 Kathy begins to name them
Liliana, Esmeralda...

she says they'll be ready to slaughter in time for Easter
I'm invited, but I know I won't be back