The sanguinary sanctuary came with the
property, so a full-sized family fully filled
half of half of a mobile home:
A single-wide severed to a quarter-wide
among mesquite trees. Next door,
in a double-wide Buddhist temple,
prayers repeated, beckoned an Awakening
or any Nirvana by a dirt road.
Without a home, families are feral, much
like the dozens of roosters they owned,
caged by chicken wire fences, blinded by
masks, roosters tethered by shoestrings to stakes,
fed on scattered feed and dirt, a mask was slipped,
revealing a missing an eye: A war hero shared fence space
with a rooster missing a foot, a yellow stump—a popsicle stick.
Their stakes were pulled up like trailers in tornadoes.
Each contender attacked in pecks.
What beautiful humans they’d make.
The one with one leg grew
a new appendage:
a talon hung from its throat.
As Buddhists mediated hair growth
and peace among all things and fig trees,
the stabbed bird toppled, twitched,
bled to death.
Clutching a once clucking, reincarnated, possible ancestor,
the masked cockerels—living witnesses and a wife heard:
“Dear, it only has one leg, but we’re blessed
xxxwith a chicken dinner tonight!”