Tavye Neese

Garifina Mother and Daughter
Tending Meat

No scales or bones in the throat, the mother says,
pulling the soft gray pelt off the nocturnal.

She remembers her own mother yelling,
The Rat! The Rat! The Rat!

swinging moist slabs of plywood
after eyes like rubies.

The daughter, crouched,
longs for trout,

white flakes of grunt-fish,
for the sun to slide over them

like a warm American penny.
But she knows rain flushes out food,

banks flood, jungle soil turns to sponge
and the belly is full as piles of matchstick bones

stacked like cairns lead their hunger away.