Ernesto Trejo

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Killed a gopher
in my garden.
Split it
with a shovel.
First I cut
only a leg.
Could have stopped
there, but
a mutilated gopher
can turn us
into what we are.
Could have done
what I did
or could have run
away, sobbing,
baring my neck
to anyone.

The morning went on,
the shovel put away,
and with the mail came news
of Grandmother at last dead,
finally joining her parents
whom she talked to every day
when she became a little girl again.
She would kiss Grandfather's hand
and rub it against her cheeks
mumbling words we couldn't make out.
Everyone smiled, embarrassed
but understanding, until
one day the kiss was a furious bite
and no one could stop the laughter
from her bloody mouth.

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