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A pound of flesh
 
Meat has a cold smell, tattooed in the freezer
is human
 
is a half-moon still visible in the sky
 
a cow’s scraped tongue
carton of veined dripping
the grey of kidney and liver
 
the drip of blood on to sawdust
from half-carcasses
hung from hooks along the wall:
 
Hey mister, have you a bull’s cock
long and tapered like a whip?
 
Do you put wood shavings in your sausages?
My ma gets her meat cheap
from a blue van up on the estate.
 
In the yard
the cats are sick of rats
 
and I am a maggot, blind and burrowing
into fly-blown meat
 
stretching and salting gut
hands viscid with reels of intestine:
 
Hey mister, have you jellied trotters?
Is a pig’s dick really curly like its tail?
 
School’s crap mister, you learn nothing
me and my da gut fish
I help my ma make blood pudding
 
my brother’s in Kesh for handling explosives –
when I leave I want to be a butcher, like you.
 
 

 

 

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