To Conquer is to Cleave

“To Conquer is to Cleave,” Replied
the Cow to the Gray-Maned God,
“And to be Conquered … ”

Beasts with cloven hooves
have cloven bellies
a chambered stomach
in an abdomen entire.

No, my chambered heart
does not drink you in,
does not devour you.
Yes, my hands split with holding

you, and yes, my heart.
The cloven heart sheds
a clutch of memories, ghosts,
hopes. I lead you, now.

– PF Anderson, ~1984


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