The Poetry of Joseph Zaccardi








The coffinís black lacquer the last prayer the needle in his vein
and measure of smack aka white horse the mourners who howled
who eulogized to change truth and why it is a waste of language
such a waste of language such thoughts in symbols and words
and the enigma of why he butchered at the A&P supermarket
why he hung quartered beef sides on hooks in reefers to bleed out
the vital fluids rendered into fertilizer and blood meal
why he carved meat off the bone beautifully his smile opening
as he held a razor-sharp knife steady over the meatís grain
flesh unfolding on the heartwood cutting block why after each shift
he used a steel scraper to rake away fat and meat then stiff-brushed
and scrubbed the breakdown board over and over why he honed
the boning knives then feathered them on diamond coated steels
on each side why each night he fired up the hard crude tar
why he fed warm black liquid under his skin his brain misfiring
against a background of chaos as one body takes and gives license
to solemnize the white powderís bitter taste to lessen the stigma
of tracks on bare arms the way bare stands of black oak
stand in bareness after the plunging hoofs are gone

ĖĖ from Cincinnati Review

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