You spend all day lining them up
for slaughter, one by one
onto the conveyor before bullet
is silenced by brain,
knife slithers over throat,
hung to bleed
for eight minutes.

You cannot wait to get home
and eat a big, juicy steak.
You like it so rare
that it’s still ruminating in a field
and I am picturing the hunk
of dead flesh about to enter
your mouth as it was – muscle
and sinew on bone, or before
that even, when there was the echo
of blood, lungs still undulating;
when she was named Daisy,
with eyelashes reaching
towards the sun.

You talk about protein
and how we were meant to be carnivores,
say that humans cannot survive
on a vegetarian diet.

I look down

I still exist.




Melissa Sussens is a veterinarian/poet living in South Africa. Her first poem was published at age fourteen in Teen Zone Magazine, for which she won a Chris Brown CD. She’s trying to get back into it.


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