After We’d Slaughtered The Chickens

After we’d slaughtered the chickens and pulled out their insides, there was nothing to do but go home. I spray-hosed the clots of blood and tissue off my hands and wiped them on my pants. Dennis grabbed his recorder, Nick handed back the camera. We climbed into the car, which still smelled like live chicken feces, chicken feathers, chicken breaths. Their glimmering bodies floated in ice in the back.

“I guess . . . we need to talk about this now?” Dennis said.

“No, we don’t have to do that yet.”

“I would like,” I said, “if we could just drive home in silence. I don’t want to think about it, or talk about it, or talk about anything, or hear or see anything. I just want . . . to sit for a while.”

“Yeah.”

We rolled down the windows and drove. The wind in our hair. The hum of the engine. I closed my eyes to feel the sun on my eyelids, the shadows of trees, and there was nothing to want or not want; there was no memory, no planned future, no expectation or dread. Just this, for however long.

Image by Dennis.

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