The Butcher’s Son
23 July 2020

There’s more than
one way to skin a cat,

and he should know.
He is the Butcher’s son.

He grew up with the scent
of rendered flesh housed

permanently in
his olfactory nerve.

Slept to the sound
of the cleaver striking

the chopping block,
downstairs on the charnel floor.

Now he can no longer
look ruminants,

or the neighbor’s
dog in the eye,

knowing how to dismantle
them the way he does.

Instead, he reduces them to their
constituent parts in his head;

fore-shank, hind-quarter,
rump, flank and leg.

And pornography
offers scant relief,

for the furtive glimpse of
labial pink just reminds him

of the lurid slabs that hung
from hooks in the family cold store.

And his stomach
is clenched like a tight fist

because he’s seen these signs before.
He’d recognize them anywhere.

‘Check the texture, the colour and
the smell,’ his father would say.

And now he’ll tell you it’s
all around, it’s in the air today.

Yes, all this meat
is about to turn.

And he should know.
He is the Butcher’s son.