Maggots

This reading was recorded by Alessandro Mistrorigo at The Arts Box (www.theartsbox.com), in Vicenza, Italy (13th of October, 2013).

Read by Chris Mann on 13 October 2013

Maggots

Turning compost, I stuck the fork
through sodden kikuyu grass-rot
and lifting saw, limp on the tines,
a rat's wet-furred, riven carcase.

Maggots swarmed in the intestines,
pale, pudgy, like muscled nozzles,
like a litter of mouth-eyed pups
humping and burrowing the maw.

The stench was nauseating. I bent,
wrestling revulsion, then marvelled.
The carrion nurseried renewal.
Its cleaners were spawned by decay.

Toothless, they spewed a subtle spit
that foamed their meat into a broth.
They were the Greeks' sarcophagi,
the listening that eats up sorrow.

I heeled the carcase off the fork,
held in my breath and bent to stroke
the cherub worms of metamorphosis,
which soon would chrysalis – and fly.

from Home from Home: New and selected Poems (Cape Town: Echoing green Press, 2012)

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