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I'm Going to Butcher This photo

a man stands on stage his cue cards flashing like white eyes and says he’s going butcher this 

butcher that and butcher all these names in particular but he won’t because the butcher my 

favourite takes what is beautiful and breaks it so gently perhaps 18 to 20 years before 

it attains natural brokenness and its flesh invites the knife so vertical once that engine 

has puttered to a stop and all the necessities are unburdened and clock out they exit 

with a sigh waterfalling out of the workplace and what is left we find almost indulgent 

for some bodies can’t complete the day without it for some they would rather eat 

their own hands but this is also perfection the butcher would say why am I 

even reciting this like a prayer but I’m not finished because if you pull everything

apart like a puzzle at the end all is analyzed down to the bone of the metaphor you know

when all the good meat had surrendered to the packaging and the packaging of the soul

especially when you take it home to your family proud and perhaps this summons 

all this instrumental warmth breathing beating so alive and brief and maybe your children 

take this for granted and maybe I take all this for granted maybe the butcher is only a bridge 

and maybe this man on the stage doesn’t care for travel and doesn’t know what a name 

would sound like if he tried to abridge it to need and a patient wrist and a sweetness fitful 

and grand and somewhere there is an engine put-put-puttering clumsy death and somewhere 

someone has chewed off their fingers but maybe I am in my best dress tonight 

and my name is standing naked all alone on stage and all I can do is retrieve my steel 

and change into a perfumed suit of blood to do his only, only job because there is nothing 

more important because there is nothing nothing that can live without a name



image: Dorothy Chan