She is crucified against cardboard
with stomach cruelly exposed.
I am surprised how easy it is
to cut through skin. I try not
to think about the vulnerability
of my own pale flesh.
The intricate mess glistens beneath.
Intestine, liver, stomach, kidney,
spleen… Not neatly arranged
like textbook diagrams. The scent
of death fills me, threatening to empty me out.
Is this how we would smell? I am lucky
not to know the answer.
Exposed insides reveal
harsh simplicity. The guts are
only a tangle of tubes, the brain
a lump of cells, the heart
a bag of muscle. I cannot find
the signs of how she moved,
how she thought,
or how she felt.
In the end
there is only meat.
Beth Davies is a poet from Sheffield, studying at Durham. She is the editor of The Gentian journal and part of Durham University Slam Team. Her work has appeared in Pulp Poets Press, The Kindling, PUSH and multiple anthologies.