small textlarge text

Adam Moorad

The Skins of Animals

Download MP3

The children are cold and hungry. The wet moss on rocks numbs their feet. Rain mats their hair against their foreheads. Leaves drip black drizzle from every branch. Bark tumors bulge from hollow trunks. Their skin is old and lichened. The wind is rich with mire and static.

The children raise their blades. Axes and knives and samurai what have yous. They point them at the sky. The gleam of iron is seen at night. Silver tracers dart across meadows. The children wield their shanks and shave one another's heads. Some slip on wet pavement and impale themselves. Some get tattoos of barbed wire. Some get pterodactyls.

The children wade through swollen creeks. The animals' necks twist like security cameras. Their lenses pan for focus. Their antlers tangle in creeping brush. The cartilage between their bones clicks. The children sense hints of urine and musk. They follow paw tracks through deep mud. The wet earth pulls their shoes off.

The children ambush the animals and cut into their thighs. Arrows and bullets fly. The children bury their blades. Metal blends into hair and flesh. The animals' eyes and ears squiggle. The children recite Protestant verse. They drape themselves in entrails. They stream it from the trees and sing Christmas carols. Fur clogs in the braces in their mouths. Blood is smudged on their button noses.

The children eat and sleep in 24 hours shifts. The animals are chained to trees and they weep. The children skin them badly. Jagged lines expose yellow ribs that glow in the dark. The children stack the empty trunks in a dumpster behind a Blockbuster. A garbage man discovers the gnarly fly nirvana early the next morning. The sight infects his eyes. His face becomes pink and swollen.

The children mooch off the tits of weak mothers. Their skin is shriveled with sickness. They children bow their heads and pray every night. Their words are filled with cliché and maudlin. They screw whatever wherever and cum buckets of pond water. They say God forgives them regardless.

The children want action. They raid garages for cold beer. They hotwire jalopies and drag race from town to town. They knock mailboxes from their foundations. They pull animals from their houses. They peel them alive. They dry the pelts on clotheslines and skewer the lymph nodes. Neighborhoods are abandoned. Electric cities burn out.

The children go weeks without washing and begin to funk. Their tongues are stained with caviar that expired a fortnight ago. They sharpen their blades on speed bumps and chisel epilogues into everything. Cement sidewalks. Rock on fieldstone homes. The skin of living trees.

The children's children have children. Their children's children have gills. Their skin is scaled and translucent. Their faces conjure a cumbersome place. The sponge inside their bones is rotten. Their gums are greener than heaven's lawn. The wind whistles like a lifeless canary lying in the dung on the floor of its cage. The air reeks of poon and Goya bean. The children prune in moldy tubs. Their bathwater is a citron bisque. They towel off in high school locker rooms. They slather their bodies with Elmers and wrap themselves in fur. They laugh like hyenas. They cackle like jackals. They groom their skins with licks. They smoke from diet coke cans. They choke and the dry air burns their eyes. They pass out in the fetal position before a snowy Nintendo screen.

The children scratch at crab louse. They buff their blades every morning. The sheen sparkles and blinds them. They wear wayfarers and eye patches day and night. Their heads grow congested and carsick. Some become good thieves. Some cut themselves to alleviate internal pressures. Some become pilots and some janitors. Some look like James Dean. Some weigh 500 pounds.

The children finger their navels. They stare out windows and watch the sunlight reflect off rocks. The veins in their arms hang from their bones like grapevines. Their hunger slowly fades. Their hairlines recede and swallow their teeth. They soak their mattresses in gasoline and scour their houses for matches. They saw their tears with their sleeves.

➥ Bio