TAMARA L. PANICI
TAMARA L. PANICI
The pig’s squeals could kill us, so we save the knife. We use what we can. We use our better, human smarts. We use our heads and our hands. We use the cylinder block table leg in our cylinder block apartment. We use empty space as a trap. It’s simple: we close the doors and the windows, all of them, tight, too tight, like ugly teeth pressing too closely together. Then, we count each of us—two, four, six, eight, nine—pig not included. Eight of us go outside in the winter snow. We wait in line. We will wait in any line and come back with nothing in our hands. It’s perfectly normal. One of us cries, one of us is cold, and six of us grow small enough to wear children’s clothes. One of us stays and turns a little knob. One of us lets gas seep into the kitchen where the pig breathes and will stop breathing. One of us bolts the door with the cinder block table leg. One of us mutters curses and prayers under our breath. Eight of us lock our curses and prayers somewhere inside our guts. Nine of us end our prayers, holy glimmering pig. Holy glimmering pig! It’s amazing how much food she requires to stay quiet. It’s amazing how little food nine of us require to remain quiet. Nine of us pray the pig dies easy. Nine of us pray the pig dies. At least one of us prays that on this day no one cares enough to warm their bones and smoke a cigarette.
Tamara L. Panici's work has appeared or is forthcoming in such places as The American Journal of Poetry, Cold Mountain Review, Crab Creek Review, Storm Cellar, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a River Styx Microfiction award and a Frost Place scholarship. She lives in DC with her daughter and partner.