THUS – Body of Questions

Body of Questions

Screams, whites of eyes,
blood geysers, unholy profits’
red fountains, plasma flowers
bloom on slaughterhouse walls,
pool on decks flow from trawlers,
terror staining oceans useless
red, headless bodies, spilling guts,
flipping, jerking, thrashing,
gaping mouths, shut, open
bubbling, gasping.  Open, shut.
Is this what I am?

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 others who suffered
at our hands horrific deeds
forked over
meal after meal: cattle, bolts
shot through their skulls, bled
alive, sliced open at their throats,
choking, gurgling, hanging upside down
gutted hearts pumping legs jugging;
fish hooked lips ripped and brains
punctured, caught
in endless vast trawled nets,
flopping anguish desperate drowning
in air; amputated pigs writhing in pain
their tails docked teeth ground down
anesthesia-free to raw  
nerves confined in small metal
crates on filthy concrete slabs cold,
unable to turn around to comfort
their piglets; de-beaked covered in feces
sick chickens’ bred with grotesque breasts
and egg layers dropping endless dead embryos;
kidnapped calves’ and kids’ milk
sucked out for an inhumane species by machines
from grieving ruminants—bellowing cows,
bleating goats and sheep frantic
calling their young
stolen the moment they’re born,
who come of semen guns
men thrust deep
into their mothers’
impregnating them, and again
and again in rape racks
molested, until they can bear no more,
until uteri drop out, drag
on fecal-smeared floors,
then their exhausted bodies
ground up for meat,
having been delivered of daughters
slated, too, for the sexual assaults
and young sons—bull calves and kids—
who missing their mothers suckle
their killers’ fingers,
on their way to slaughter,  
babies to be eaten as veal and lamb.

Whom do I become,
having renounced years past
all who are: field-grazed and betrayed;
cage-free one of 20,000 chickens
imprisoned in each stinking building,
no room to move, trampled;
and factory-farmed in massive
lots of sewage and packed pens,
sliced open, scalded
while still drawing breath
yanked from water, beheaded alive,
of which I duped had partaken, clothed
and groomed myself?

How much longer until I resolve me
now fed only vegetables, nuts and seeds, fruits,
and grains into an entity of peace,
a place where conscience
and compassion can expand,
a presence in which every being’s safe?
Have my plant-fed cells
re-generated long enough
that I’ve purged the holocaust,
purged my ignorance,
my complicity—
starved the pathology—
from what’s in question? 

When will I become wholly cleansed?
Seven to ten years, I’m told,
for total cell regeneration.
So, I’ve passed the date!
Reborn reformed atoning organic
whole foods plant-fed
evolved trans-animal I have
crossed into a meta state
beyond the human species
to join company with deer,
sheep, pig, goat
honeybee, caterpillar,
squirrel, cow, mouse,
giraffe, rhinoceros,
butterfly, elephant, horse,
lamb . . .  with those who
at our hands
remain unsafe.