The Genius Performs Taxidermy

He did minimal research.
He fell asleep reading How To
Stuff The Dead and dreamed of a child
throwing up forever and did not read anymore.

He knew it must be dry, so he hung it

like laundry by its toes for days.
He knew to remove handfuls of it,
fists of slugs, the stomach of a pumpkin.

His workspace was not ideal.
There was sawdust on the floor
and the light was yellow and tired.
The whole room looked seasick. He heaved

the Love onto the butcher’s block,
lifted its limp neck. He knew from the sloppy
twine stitches and the mismatched eyebrows that

this was not its first time dying. The eyes

were taped open. The mouth was agape,
drooling strands of hay. The skin like a pillowcase
stuffed with newspaper. This poor beast

he thought as he threaded
the needle with fishing line.