Cole Depuy


White chickens
scatter across the farm.

I snatch a plump one by its sides
and place it inside the cone.

Its feet dance
and the head pops out the bottom

of its new metal dress.

With a curved blade,
I cut throats
like dandelion stems.

We pile bodies
for plucking
and bury the heads
with the sick, still-flapping birds.

Three shovel-fulls of dirt
and gone to the grubs they go.

“Sick ones belong in the mud,
just like the rest of us,” he says
as he lifts the wheelbarrow handles.

The heads get lighter and lighter
in my hands as the day goes by,
so much so that I’d like to lie

down beside them chickens
with a nice metal dress on myself.

Show them how to use a curved blade
and hope they’d peck
my freckles off after I’m dead.




Cole Depuy’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Penn Review, Boston Accent, Heartwood, pacificREVIEW and elsewhere. He is a Ph.D. student at SUNY Binghamton’s Creative Writing Program and recipient of the Provost’s Doctoral Summer Fellowship.