On a Watermelon Truck, With a Chupacabra

North from Texas, the smell
of rinds like fresh-mown grass,
sweet and contained

Chupacabra dreams of cool
air, against furless skin, and dew-
soaked leaves

In Texas, a woman puts out steel
traps to catch chupacabras, fills
the cage with spicy Cheetos and wet
cat food, a mingle of salt and rotting

Chupacabra curls smaller, size of one
prize-winning melon, tries again to
welcome sleep, one husk of fruit
in one small paw, savoring pink chunks of flesh
for days, fruit born of heat that tastes
of cold

In the south, chupacabras are a menace,
blood thirsty, vermin; guns are loaded,
traps are set, the livestock must be protected

Chupacabra watches the land flashing
past, desert gives to lawns gives to cornfields
gives to trees, Chupacabra licks juice
from sticky paws

One man says a dead chupacabra is worth ten
living, he taps his foot and points at a bounty
sign he designed himself, a chupacabra drawn
with fangs bared, claws out, wild

As the truck slows, Chupacabra leaps
and lands, dashes to the darkness of forest
cover, still holding three black seeds, memory
that out of sand can grow water


After the Ikiryoh

Read, read to me, the letters that you wrote
me when I was young and you were tender,
sweet, your touch was soft then, caressed
my skin, made me ache and arch my body,

the bridge to your river
In the river I am filling my lungs with algae
emeralding tendrils stop, stopping my breath

You said you’d never not love me, well, they say
hate is love in mirrors, and you bent back my fingers
to touch my wrist, and your touch was quick then,
pulling, twisting, made me ache and arch my body,

the tree limbs under such weight
The weight of your thoughts filling my body with ghosts
spiriting breath stop, stopping my heart

Speak, tell me, say again those words you spoke,
they dripped with demons, when I was young,
and you were harsh, your touch was pain then, clawed
my skin, made me ache and arch my body,

the bones under your hands
Your hands pushing me down filling my head with nothing
and from nothing stop, stopping comes something else

Chloe N. Clark's work has appeared in Booth, Crannog, a previous Sleet, and more. For her doughnut fueled breakdowns and bat-induced wonder, follow her @PintsNCupcakes.

home  • archives  • submissions  • us