Magazine article U.S. Catholic

The Soprano

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

The Soprano

Article excerpt

At first I thought it was a soprano-- notes suddenly shaping, coursing through a silver-lined thorax, through the ivory of a wind pipe, spiraling above the Old Tree, above the crests of mountains, bright hot arrows tearing through curtains of fog, splintering the light, then suddenly severed.

The man from Athens trying out his new sound system again, I thought. I thought it was a soprano and let it go at that.

Later that day I walked to the end of the village, where the herder's house is, doors and windows wide open--to the four winds, to every passerby, it seemed--the smell of roasting meat, the sound of laughter. A nameday? A wedding? A baptismal perhaps?

Then I saw the sow's carcass, strung on a beam, over the gate--headless, split apart from neck to abdomen, to the cleft of the labia, the great cavity empty, the skin scrubbed clean, pink, translucent--marbled with the fat underneat. …

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