Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Meat

How much meat moves
Into the city each night
The decks of its bridges tremble
In the liquefaction of sodium light
And the moon a chemical orange

Semitrailers strain their axles
Shivering as they take the long curve
Over warehouses and lofts
The wilderness of streets below
The mesh of it
With Joe on the front stoop smoking
And Louise on the phone with her mother

Out of the haze of industrial meadows
They arrive, numberless
Hauling tons of dead lamb
Bone and flesh and offal
Miles to the ports and channels
Of the city's shimmering membrane
A giant breathing cell
Exhaling its waste
From the stacks by the river
And feeding through the night

Credit


From Live from the Hong Kong Nile Club: Poems 1975-1990, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Copyright © 2000 by August Kleinzahler. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Author


August Kleinzahler

August Kleinzahler was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1949.

Date Published: 2000-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/meat