The vein behind my left knee is yellow.
Children run through the fairgrounds
hand in hand with corndogs, leaving
behind them clouds of mustard
gas. Dirt and flower-dust blow
into my ears like secrets. I hear the car
braking in Amarillo on my trip
to the Grand Canyon. We gasp
after a slaughterhouse that smells
like wheat and kidneys. (This was before
I heard we had corn in our DNA.)
He was too young to look both ways
before crossing the street, or not
to rub against strangers, not to stare
with his one eye politely begging. Good
boy. The gas station attendant said
someone threw him out a truck window
last week. I rubbed his back, his fur
like ground maize. The hunger sours
my stomach like lemons.
Jessica Guzman lives in Tampa and sells cameras at an electronics store. Her work is forthcoming in SHAMPOO.