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Sara Sutter


From Diana and the Elk Heart


Diana wants to throw her boobs
in a cave. They are SO NOTICEABLE.
Maybe put them on her face,
use them to her advantage, be a model.
A vending machine in a field owned by Leonardo DiCaprio.
She wants more power
than her aunts and mother
in a circle in a mirror
pinching their parts and volunteering
to be uglier. She will hide
in the closet, listen to the search for her.




Diana's fave animal: the red-faced ant, 
a very rare species that lives in her windowsill. 
Morning, mother screams: DI.AN.A. GET. OUT. OF. BED. 
Soon as she can, she crawls back in.
jaw flapping like a flag above her poop ship.
Other people's mouths are dirty puddles.




Di wrote a sonnet.
It's called Elk Heart.

Diana's sonnet goes like this:
Field-dress your elk after the kill, unless    
the bull is old in rut. If you would like    
to keep the hide, then skin it well. Elk shoals,  
heart lake. Fill large ice chests half full of ice.   
Head past the planks of rippled splice. Be sure   
the ice is thick. Saw small sections of elk       
to fill the chests. Elk heart with Danish blue.  

Against the stars, his mouth outlined in black.
Organ transplant recipients, the chill
of ungulates enclosed. From the flanks—
sanguinary, dank—the smell of foothills
aired by rains. A velvet sound. The same                      
shrill chill the ice heart reverberates, makes
the ice vein stream, the body snowflake.






Sara Sutter is a writer and professor in Portland, Oregon. Recent support for her work comes from Sou'wester Lodge in Washington and Gullkistan Center for Creative People in Iceland. Sara's poems and essays appear in The Awl, Fence, Fog Machine, The Hollins Critic, Nailed, etc.; her chapbooks include O to Be a Dragon (Finishing Line Press 2016) and Sirenomelia (Poor Claudia 2013).