POETRY
Abattoir Confession
T.J. Smith

Photo by Benjamin Faust on Unsplash

I have never slaughtered a pig.
My hands, though slathered  with a sheen
Of melted flesh, are swiftly cleaned
With a simple paper towel. 

My dining room is far removed
From all those grisly factories,
Farms, if my imagination
Is generous or wanting. 

The maddening aroma is not
The smell of industrialized
Brutality, nor is the snap
And sizzle of the grease the squealing

Of the slain.  The cheerful plastic
Wrapping, with its solid blue sky
And deep green fields could never be
An insulting monument.

This crudely printed porcine form
Cannot signify the killing
Of untold thousands as it falls
Into the waiting garbage can.

And yet, as it descends, I think
Briefly, of far off killing fields.
My heart stirs, straining then, but no,    
I have never slaughtered a pig.


T.J. Smith is a poet in New York. Originally from Jacksonville, FL, he studied German and Creative Writing at Princeton University, and he is currently completing an MFA at New York University. His work has appeared in Gyroscope Review, Red Flag Poetry, and Nassau Literary Review.