I was born for slaughter,
but in the abattoir I bolted
and escaped as the rough gate slid.
Only he came with me.
Now, high above the city,
I traipse through the living room
with my dripping watering can
toward the screen to the balcony garden,
past his face, flushed
in excitement at his book,
and glance down at my ankle
as I slide the screen open,
and notice the cleft remains of my hoof,
carved and painted as toes in my sandals,
and bend down to look for
a streak of blood or fecal matter
from the fear at what I saw
and how it all streamed from me
however many showers, baths, pumicings,
scrubbings, clippings, waxings,
massages and pedicures I have received.
The painted colors of my painted toes
rhyme with the colors of the annuals
cascading across the balcony.
Only that smear I check for
as I balance my watering can,
then think, Just let it go, as he has,
and step up over the sill.