Body of Questions
If you are what you eat,
then what am I?
The corpses of others,
who had every right to live, to life?
On whom did I feed my base off-base needless tastes?
On horrific deeds forked over meal after meal:
cattle, bolts shot into their heads,
bled alive, sliced open at the throat,
fish, hooks puncturing lips and brains—
flopping anguish desperate, drowning in air—
amputated pigs writhing in pain from their tails docked
teeth ground down, anesthesia-free, to raw nerve ends;
de-beaked sick chickens’ breasts and dead embryos;
kidnapped calves’ and kids’ milk pumped by machines from grieving cows,
goats and sheep, bleating, bellowing,
frantic, calling their young, stolen the moment they’re born,
who come of semen guns men thrust up their vaginas,
impregnating them, and again—
molested, until they can bear no more,
until uteruses drop out, drag
on the ground, then their exhausted bodies ground up for meat,
delivered of daughters slated, too, for the rapes
and young sons—bull calves—
who missing their mothers suckle their killers’ fingers,
on their way to slaughter, to be eaten as veal.
Screams, blood geysers, greed’s red fountains,
unholy plasma flowers bloom on slaughterhouse walls,
headless bodies, flipping, jerking, thrashing, jugging legs.
Is this what I am?
Whom do I become
having renounced, years past, all that—
field-grazed, cage-free, and factory-farmed,
yanked from water, pulled from the air—
of which I duped had partaken, clothed and groomed myself?
How much longer, until I resolve this body—
now fed vegetables, nuts, fruits, and grains, only—
into an entity of peace,
a place where soul and bonds can grow and thrive,
a presence in which every being’s safe?
Have my plant-fed cells regenerated long enough
that I’ve purged the holocaust and complicity—
starved the pathology—from what’s in question?
will I be wholly cleansed?
Seven to ten years, I’m told.
So, not quite. Not yet.