“The Louvres” by Matt Zambito

Matt Zambito


Cows stare with “Mona Lisa” eyes—
mysterious, brown, famous with a genius
behind the creation. Stick a cow
in a museum, and you should be there
with your boots on; you should tromp
right through her mess if you must.

The patrons who’d carry $12
cocktails constantly if they could would
stay home, and that’s where you’d feel
staring into those eyes, darker and deeper
than any oils. You’d want to rub
the thin fur covering the thick

skull, her face, tilted up toward you,
chewing, and whisper, “Oh, it’s okay, it’s okay …”
Of course, the cow, priceless as a herd
of Louvres, would stand fairly still, tail flapping
at imaginary flies, wondering, as they do
whenever they see us, “What’s wrong?”

from Rattle 29, Summer 2008


Matt Zambio: “At the 2004 Ohio State Fair, a cow rubbed its face up against my shoulder. Looking into its eyes, I saw myself reflected, and decided then and there to stop eating meat. So I guess you could say I love cows enough not to gobble them up. I often write poems about things I love, hoping I’ll convince others to love those things, too.”

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