The world divides itself. There is snow.
The absence of snow. Lakes shuttered
with ice. After the storm you take a shovel
and wedge it beneath the unyielding bodies
of your cattle where they have frozen to the road.
You can hear only the absence of their soft lowing,
the wind shifting by degrees. In the woods
the neighbor’s daughters lick salt blocks,
pretending they are deer. You remember
your own daughter. How she clung to your leg
like the side of a barn in blinding weather,
how you would lift her onto the broad back
of a cow. Now you can think only of contingency,
how a frontiersman frozen in the snow
climbs into the body of a still-warm bull
slides his hands between its curved wet bones,
spills its secrets out into the dark.
Brianna Low lives in Bloomington, Indiana. She is currently an MFA candidate at Indiana University.