Folk Medicine
Jae Dyche

Folk Medicine

          After Ai

The black goat's kidney
floats in the bowl
of broth and lemon rinds
while flies assemble
to its hollowed corpse
roped to the killing post.
The kidney was never thrown out,
and you didn't remember
if the goat suffered. It didn't:

it was already slaughtered
when you and I entered the poem,
poet and reader bound
within a shared body
bent over the bowl,
face skimming beads of oil
gleaming as if lonesome
tiny stars as we inhale
hot citrus and rough-chopped herbs,
then our lungs release.

Together, we could turn
an aching into field crows
or a butchered hen,
its right wing cleaved.
Or turn that ache into crocuses
sheathed in hoarfrost
or the florid wild strawberries
sprawling beneath paper birch.

Nearby wood thrushes trill,
deaf to their own euphony,
and laurel petals tumble
into the run, stannic waters
lapping over bands of sandstone
and mica, before trickling
beyond the margins of the page
and out of view of the mind's eye.

Jae Dyche

earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Maryland and is a PhD student in rhetorics, communication, and information design at Clemson University. Her poetry has most recently appeared in Poet Lore, Atlanta Review, Jabberwock Review, and Reunion: The Dallas Review. Her first collection, The Potomac Elegies, is forthcoming.