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The Poem

Keeley Mackenzie

Murder! Murder! 

Thou hast killed thee a poem 

and smoked it on a spit 

over the campfire. 

That’s what the witnesses say 

as you stick a fork into the 

poem’s flesh. 

Share with the rest of us, 

won’t you? 

That’s what they say 

when you take a bite.


You don’t share. 

You’re a greedy little bastard, 

aren’t you? 

Do you even know what poem you’ve slaughtered? Licking your lips as if 

you’ve cut yourself a slab of steak 

and not the gem of humanity, 

the only type of poem 

every man can write. 

You disappoint me. 

Who eats the love poem? 

Inhumane, really. 

By killing and eating 

the love poem, you’ve 

killed and eaten the human 


Now, we flock heartless and shoeless around

your campsite, foaming at the mouth. 

You wave your hands at us. 

Shoo! Shoo! You whine 

like a scared pup. 

Do not hurt me, my bare-feet brethren! Thine

hearts beat like mine, with human rhythm! We

share both blood and song! 

We respond. 

Sounds like something a poet might say. 

Are not all creatures with breath poets!

Join me in talk over violence! 

You cry, your tears seasoning your flesh. 

How could we ever be poets? 

We speak unanimously, our eyes glazed over,

our mouths hung open. 

You ate the love poem.

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