Animals Need Animals by Matthew Milia

The teeth of your black ditch are sweet like the rest
Of the thin-lipped, sharp-hipped
Fierce things that animals show
White like the laughter of smoke in the chest
Long after
The brightness of the fields’ teeth go
The child-mother yells in violent madness
But your tight skin confessed not a vein in your chest
And the way that your breast did hang low

Animals need animals before the winter comes
The metal air swarms across those plains
My long-necked, freckle-specked, heavy-chested, trust-invested
Sows her breath into my chest and hums
Now what kind of county line
Holds her remains

Your gray frame in winter is delicately hued
The eyes are so wearisome
The greens have all blued
And what could it mean
That they once were so green
And now they’re just starving for food?
And I am hungry too

Appears on The Orion Songbook