photo by mauricio alejandro ramos
Samantha Henderson’s poetry and fiction have been published in Weird Tales, Strange Horizons, Anemone Sidecar, Goblin Fruit, and Stone Telling. She is the editor of the speculative short-poem webzine inkscrawl.
Eating an Elephant
Like the saying goes – one bite at a time.
The first is ashes, coal and ashes
where the flame bit. Grit
between your teeth.
The second – hot and liquid fat.
At the third, the fourth, you hit the meat
baked sweet and succulent.
The fifth and sixth are pink, then raw.
you cannot burn an elephant all the way through,
even when Edison, the Diabolic
electrocutes it to disparage
St. Tesla the Mad,
St. Tesla the Transcendent.
The way a hyena eats an elephant
beginning at an inelegant, but obvious egress
is how you’d think – foul, hyena like.
But also with an odd elegance,
Eating an elephant won’t give you
the wisdom of the salmon,
or the cunning of Coyote’s sisters.
Only the melancholy of long memory,
the ache of long bones,
the sweet moan of long life spiraled down
in mud thick as molasses.