Cloves lie separate

on the board, scattered

bones thrown for fortune

brown roots like wooded scars

pucker, transform under

the blade of my knife

the Freudian symbol I mean

for them to be. Prolapsed

ruptured, raptured, splintering

from inside out. Imagine

each is a past lover

suspended in his seed

tossed possibility. I had

never minced garlic until

Damien’s house, till

the ex-priest bade me.

Never for him the Irish

onion breath, tears. Only

garlic. Associations are

fugue states sliced and

stirred to gel. Damien,

mincing, raked his santoku,

sprinkled salt in holy

circles around my

fractures. Goat hooves

are cloven, as are carcasses

yielding to cleavers,

skin incensed by cloves

and musk. Garlic,

Damien, amen, an omen

impaled—it’s all for you,

Damien—just like the priest

from The Omen. In bed

dogs with two bones, Ina’s

recipe calling: take thy knife

one blooded cock, forty cloves.

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