all the bodies you’ve seen,
Think beyond the human bodies
in funeral homes
or hospitals, perhaps
on battlefields or in
car wrecks or other accidental carnage;
maybe in family homes if you grew up
in the right part of the world for folks
to die in their homes at peace or in war.
If that’s hard to grasp consider
that you must have seen
hundreds of flies and wasps on windowsills;
chickens laid out in stores;
roadkill of all species;
the neighbor’s cat
upon a sparrow
under your feeder;
your own cat
upon a mouse
Have you fished?
Have you hunted?
Those are lovely shoes you are wearing —
isn’t that fine Italian leather?
Isn’t this lovely, understanding at last
how death has surrounded you and kept you?
All life is sacred, some say.
Few of us say all death is too. It’s a shame;
we love to demonize it, saying we give
our killers the ultimate punishment
when we sentence them to the inevitable,
then sit down to a steak after the deed is done.
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