The flavor of blood is evident

in meat—no matter the kind of meat:

turkey meat

chicken meat

pork meat


meat—no matter the amount of salt

it won’t cover up



chewing each fibered

morsel tender, carful

not to bite bones—grinding

meat in clenched

teeth, swallowing—



the meat came from somewhere else—

someone else hacked it—

we didn’t have to watch, so we chew,

forgetting until the metallic iodine

salty blood hits the tastebuds and we chew




ignore the plasma on the tongue, pretend

it wasn’t once

a bird

a cow

a deer

an elk




that would cluck or suck-

up slop in the fields


forget it once had


a face

a mother

a dream—



while giving thanks

sitting around thanksgiving

tables with thanksgiving

forks thanksgiving

knifes digging into thanksgiving


thank the soul with the life

stolen from it—its carcass

slipped between

lips to a grinning





© All Rights Reserved Caroline Adele O’Brien


Behind the Steel Door

The double thickness steel door opens wide
Musty darkness gaping from within
Iron hooks hanging from the wooden beam
The chamber’s ready, so is the team

An unwilling, squealing pig
To tear your heart apart
Four strong hands push inside
Then, the door is shut

Outside, life rolls on; inside, one will be cut
Faint little squeals reach my young heart
Then, all is quiet – the deed is done

The double thickness door opens wide
Ah, the steamy gory sight chokes your throat
Fresh, steaming blood crawls up your nose
And enters your living, heaving lungs

From the pink warm carcass crucified
Slit in half and opened up
Hot crimson liquid pours into a tin bowl
For your dinner tomorrow night
Blood sausages – the ones you like so much

Blood everywhere, thick and sticky
Steaming on the floor, on the walls
And on the butchers’ white coats
Pulsing red like Lady Macbeth
Like the hands of the butcher men

Quick, get some water, clean up the mess
The pig’s no more!
Come on, folks
Buy some fresh pork

© irina dimitric 2012