Killer in the Night
By Maya Khankhoje 

i waited for you
through the empty night
holding my gun
with trembling hands
wanting to kill you
a limb for a limb
a life for a life
for you were cruel
an invisible enemy
stalking the coop
pulling random legs
off random chickens
cackling in the dark

i had to kill you
before you maimed
and mutilated
my rhode islands
and my leghorns
who laid lovely oval eggs
for countless spanish omelets
and their lives
for one glorious
chicken fricassee

i had to stop you
from getting there before i did
with my sharp and special clippers
that fit snug and tight
into their beaks
underneath the palate
disconnecting their stupid brains
from their quivering bodies

i had to pull the trigger
because the sight
of hobbling legless birds
upset the brooders
and spoilt my breakfast
besides bile-tainted flesh
does not sell well

i steadied the gun
against my shoulder
meaning to aim
right between your eyes
and there you were

holding your golden
titian silky head
high and still
challenging me
with those sharp black eyes
which in people
are known as foxy
as if to say
kill me
if you dare

i tried to align
the tip of my gun
with the tip of your nose
as it is done in the movies
and pull the damn trigger
which refused to budge

i had to kill you
but could not

because the vision
which flashed before my eyes
of a wild and glorious creature
who in one swift swoop
of her powerful jaw
caught for dinner
a sleeping hen
under a fragrant
frangipani bush
in that mythical land
once upon a time
known as the wilderness
disrupted my line of sight