Scout brings in the mouse, decapitates
him on the floor next to my bed.
Like some offering: one plum heart, thin
white twist of spine, perfect liver. Eerily clean.
How can your nature, I ask Scout, be such
an unbridled thing? I scoop up the mouse
pieces in a paper towel. There’s no blood.
I am not like my father, who mopping
the thick red of my brother, said, Blood
doesn’t come out of a carpet. Said, Where’s the bullet?
Where’s the bullet? In nature, there’s purpose
in all the gore. This is what I tell the mouse
as I loft his tuft of a head into the grass.
My father’s arms are sore with mopping.
There is always more to clean, nature diligent
with its messes—the mouse, the pillowcases,
the floor, the backs of chairs, a doorknob, bones.
Amy Fant’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Driftwood Press, The Cumberland River Review, Weave Magazine, Rock & Sling, and The Nashville Review among others. She finished her MFA at Emerson College in Boston, and is currently writing and eating her way through Cape Town, South Africa.