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Some Explanations for Fainting Goats

Because of a spooky rose-breasted grosbeak
who trills dark omens into goat ear until goat legs go quite weak.
Because of the harbingers hidden in discolored blades
of grass, in thorny weeds, in bitten lockets.
Because they suddenly glimpse their own innards--
organ meat on a silver tray. Quivering.
Because of evil dwarf queens with riding crops,
with arachnid pets, with modified metal braces
to take the place of spindly limbs.
Because of mounting desire to hybridize
goat milk with sticky strands of spider silk.
Tampered draglines twisting into nooses.
Because of obscenely swollen tongues,
the result of self-induced disease
so nobody will view them as a delicacy,
but soon there will be new breeds
of stuttering fainting goats, of silent fainting goats
whose distended tongues shall be fetishized
i.e. “Behold the stunning marbleization of The Mute Exotique”.
Because of strange forceps and sinister instructions
from the yellowed page of a Victorian medical text
in between the page for bloodletting & blistering
and the page for amputation & silk suturing.
Because of recurring visions of goat-sized gurneys
with hoof restraints. Malevolent milking devices
squiggling towards hapless udders.
The ghost of a rose-breasted grosbeak
bearing a foreboding beakful of parasitic worms
to implant into inner ears;
to deposit into rotten nests
of cavernous sockets.
Because they are going to die.
They are practicing.
They are foreshadowing.
They are performing
a stiff-legged medical text illustration.
Their forelimbs will never transform into wings.

-Juliet Cook (Prick of the Spindle)