“The Smell of Copper” by Annie Goold

Kopertox: [pulsing cankers,
their soles swelling wet]
a 37.5% Copper Napthenate
solution for treating hoof rot.
[so sore, they began to walk
on their knees, making bald
callouses, pleading and bleeding
attention] After securing the animal,
[slam for fuck’s sake stay slam
still I’m trying to help slam you]
liberally apply [verdigris vapors,
metal elixir; please Christ work]
to affected [pustules cracking to
a weep like prized oysters
as the arrowhead toes spread
apart; sheep scream] area. Repeat
process [I can’t trim and paint
them on my own I’m too small.]
as needed. One advantage
to this topical, liquid, anti
-bacterial solution is that it [squelch
footfalls: unmucked stall
brought this on: why won’t you
help me clean it?] is water-resistant.
If you are in a wet environment,
[lay down girl here’s fresh straw for
you that’s it fuck this rain fuck this
barn] Kopertox bonds [forest dark
slippers] to the hooves and keeps out
moisture. [we’re out again can
you pick up a bottle?] Will
stain skin, clothing, and [paintbrush
dried to overturned coffee can, stuck
with stray clots of] wool. [please
don’t make me go back out there]

We don’t abuse animals in this family.

ParaGard: [thank you student health
insurance] a type of long-acting,
reversible, contraceptive, intrauterine
device. [core-seated clenching like the
grip of a pulling fist] First used in 1909,
it is one of the most effective forms
[ache radiating down through inner
thighs] of birth control available.
ParaGard has a one-year failure rate
[have to ride bike seven miles home]
of 0.8% and cumulative 12-year
failure rate of 2.2%. [how did I get
home can’t remember past the over
-cast weight of autumn air] After
a pelvic exam, the vagina is held
open with a speculum. A tenaculum
is used [if I don’t leave this bathtub
it may be okay] to steady the cervix
and uterus. The IUD is placed using
a narrow tube, which is inserted
[okay okay okay okay ohohohohokay]
through the cervix into the uterus.
Short monofilament plastic/nylon
strings hang down [four naproxine
can’t kill me] from the uterus into
the vagina. The clinician will trim the
threads so that they only protrude
[feels like dental floss or friendship
bracelet string] 3-4 cm out of the cervix.

Were you the one who told me it smells
like pennies now when you’re on your
period? [it’s change I can believe in;

flock, leaking]


91619594DFB34736933246E5C43F47E0Annie Goold is from a small rural town in Illinois. She graduated from Cornell University with an MFA in poetry in 2017. She now lives and writes in Olympia, WA.

veronica wintersVeronica Winters, MFA, is a contemporary Russian-American artist, art instructor, and book author who illuminates the beauty and power of the feminine spirit through her figurative paintings. Winters creates vivid portraits of women—transforming her private, inner world into complex visual stories. The artist is nationally recognized for her art instruction books The Colored Pencil Manual and How to Color Like an Artist by Dover Publications. Veronica’s art and writing has been published in numerous magazines and art books, including Strokes of Genius, Leisure Painter, COLORED PENCIL Magazine, The Guide Artists, American Art Collector, and the International Artist. ­­­Veronica continues to create art with intention in her studio located in Naples, Florida.