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lunch and afterwards :: dannie abse

by on September 23, 2016

Lunch with a pathologist

My colleague knows by heart eh morbid verse
of facts—the dead weight of a man’s liver,
a woman’s lungs, a baby’s kidneys.

At lunch he recited unforgettably,
“After death, of all soft tissues the brain’s
the first to vanish, the uterus the last.”

“Yes,” I said, “at dawn I’ve seen silhouettes
hunched in a field against the skyline, each one
feasting, preoccupied, silent as gas.

Partial to women, they’ve stripped women bare
and left behind only the taboo food,
the uterus, inside the skeleton.”

My colleague wiped his mouth with a napkin,
hummed, picked shredded meat from his canines,
said, “You’re a peculiar fellow, Abse.”

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