I spend long hours in this hot muggy room breaking the necks of chickens. Not with my hands like grandpa who swings the bird round till the neck pops. My machine chops off the head. Drops that blade and splatters blood every five seconds. Fresh blood that tastes salty and sweet at the same time. It bothered me at first. But the pay’s good. What I don’t like is the line chief. During break he tells me he knows when a girl has her period. He can smell her. Says he broke up with his last girlfriend cause she bled so much. He makes me feel dirty like I need to wash with lye. One day he follows me out to the car. Says he dreams about me. Likes to taste me in his sleep. Don’t tell him my dream. The one where he’s hanging with the chickens while I work my machine.
First Published in the recent issue of _In the Grove_