Hog Opera

The Italian butcher lays him out
on the slab like an artists model
legs dangle and hang

thick bristles beyond bristling
one side of his face red flesh
full of splintered bone

the butcher stretches his arms
out in love praising his hog
blood drips on the tiled floor

recipes line the back of the stall
with other hogs hanging
dark meat glistens

the butcher, a love sick tenor
sings come buy this fresh meeaattt!
buy it and cook it

its far better than tripe
O come beautiful people
with your purses outstretched

buy my sweet juicy hog
twenty singers with hog masks run
squealing and grunting

past a million roma tomatoes
blood red and shining
knife into flesh hog does not flinch

he’s sliced up and sold
and people are queuing
his lady hog weeps in the forest.

Christine Paice

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