Sons of Cain: Hunting a Ridge Between Lockwood and Sizerville State Park
"Fire," hisses my Paw in full regaliaus two orange bulbs of fluorescent deathhunkering among red oak and switchesof witch hazel. I press the .243tighter against my right shoulderThe eyepiece on its scope coringmy wide white eye juicing it downmy soft brown cheeks so full of violence and the lunch of Viennasausages I'd upchucked secretlybehind Sweet birch or maybe Shagbark?I've never been goodat IDing trees. Paw's left eye firesfrom me to the doe from me to the doestomach acid still tugging on the triggerof my throat. Sweet JesusHe's thinking so loud I can hear the brattlingof slurs through my earplugsFire you little pussy Your skin softerthan split sausage? He'll chaw mebetween them ivory dentures. He'llturn my hide inside outsurer than any sure thing.I take stock of the brown doe herbare head and pregnant bellymy crosshairs bobbing between her exposedforeleg and shoulder. IfI breathe lifeinto a single bulletdormant now in the chamberhammer and pin it will shatterher lungsit will powder us into our most basic partsWhy didn't Godaccept Cain's sacrificeI ask my Pawwisps of white hair antlersbranching from the crownof his head Becausesure as shit Paw saidGod ain't no vegetarian.
Copyright © 2019 by Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley is not the Ben Kingsley best known for his Academy Award-winning role as Mahatma Gandhi. This Ben is a touch less famous, having not acted since his third- grade debut as the Undertaker in Music Man. A Kundiman alum, Ben is recipient of the Provincetown FAWC and Tickner Fellowships. He belongs to the Onondaga Nation of Indigenous Americans in New York. His first, second, and third books debut 2018, 2019, and 2020: Not Your Mama’s Melting Pot (selected by Bob Hicok), Colonize Me (Saturnalia), and Dēmos forthcoming with Milkweed Editions. Peep his recent work in Boston Review, FIELD, jubilat, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Oxford American, and Tin House, among others.
West Branch is a thrice annual magazine of poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews, founded in 1977 and housed at the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University.