The Sport of Killing Small Things
Aleah Sato

When they go underground, you must drive them out.
You can use dogs, hammers, poison – be sure to turn away from the fumes.
When it is buried, you have done your job – you can smoke or read a book
Against a tree. You can blend in with oranges of revolution, the greens of napalm.
You can be a martyr of god, a chosen discipline. But there is much work to be done
Before you can sing in the golden halls. When they run, don’t run after them.
Walk with severity. Continue. Do not stop. Wait until they tire. Then they are easy.
Sometimes they will look with a plea – remember you are doing our work.
Turn away when the match is lit. Run from the bushes. Ensure everything green
Turns to hell.
You have done your job.
When the last sound comes, you will dance in the limbo of the wild-less world.
Your paved place will be the last thirsty man – the one to have all. The most.
But there is work to be done . When they are behind trees, and the nightmare
Landscape recalls fables, shut your eyes. Forget the storybooks. Practice lighting flares
In the night-pitch star glow. Remember the darkness you seek is made of beams
And clothed beasts – glorious bodies. Be brutal. Drive the earth into tumble.
Sheer cliffs slide down canyons as symphony. Not much is needed to do the job.
Force is necessary – There are many who still want to live.


Aleah Sato is the author of Badlands, Stillborn Wilderness (Pooka Press) and the forthcoming Empire of Moths. Her work has appeared in nthposition, Adirondack Review, juked, Just West of Athens, and Blue Fifth Review, among others. Find Aleah here.

Photography by Keith Moul.