I don’t know which part of the animal it is

Cassandra Moss

but I began eating it back when I couldn’t distinguish a part from the whole and
I bit down into the meat and I felt it as a former living thing and I said to myself
The things we have to do to survive! I mean I thought about the rigmaroles,
procedures, the form-filling that we participate in and I recalled my pen stalling,
hovering over the boxes that designate who I am and I wondered if I’d be any
less human for not belonging to any of them but then I ticked the usual ones
anyway because it’s not worth it to go get confused and when I say it I mean the
general process in which we’re caught up in, the one it’s been decided has to be
levels of multi-layered pain as to be otherwise might make it near impossible to
observe and then the problem would be a lack of distraction from the fate that
befalls every single one and I thought about the names I heard in a death prayer,
each one specific with their beginnings and endings, each one the kind of progression
that links achievement with acquisition because that leaves something for people
to say about you when you’re gone as in: she had a house in Timperley, four rooms 
within, one bathroom and a stand-up shower, whereas most of her life she’d only had a bath; as in: there was one man in this prayer who’d
owned a lion and died doing what he loved which was walking with his lion as he’d
reared her from a cub so she knew him to be safe but as they were walking she went
after his leg severing several major arteries and it was said that it had to be decided
what the lion’s fate was to be but the man’s family advised a merciful practice because in all probability, they said, the lion didn’t even know the leg was any part
of the animal at all.

Cassandra Moss was born in Manchester and grew up just outside the city. She studied English with Film at King’s College, London and subsequently worked in the film industry for Sister Films, Working Title, and Vertigo. Since 2009, she’s been an EFL teacher. After moving to Ireland, she recently completed an MPhil in Linguistics at Trinity College, Dublin. Her short fiction has been published in Succour, 3am Magazine, Cricket Online Review, Squawk Back, And/Or, The Passage Between, Posit, Sunspot Lit, Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Underwood Press and forthcoming in The Bangalore Review.

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