I almost speak a foreign language.

The words that dribble from my tongue

Bounce to the floor and back again.

 

Oberhasli becomes brown and black,

And I say Toggenburg but you hear Toggehasli,

Which is almost correct,

 

A type of rightness that lies

In the mixing and breeding,

A Recorded Grade is no different.

 

And I smear words like Nigerian Dwarf

In your ear, and butterfat,

And udder-up.

 

Hoof-care becomes nothing more

Than the slicing of the stifle

With the dewlap.

 

The Boer and the Alpine,

The Allrhyme, the Saltine, the Whithers

Or Wethers, the LaMancha, the Sable, the Angora,

Pygora.

 

She is full in the crops

With a flank free of excess flesh

And a high medial suspensory ligament,

And you say,

“It’s a goat.”

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Samantha Henry

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