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The Alchemy Of Waste By Lauren Pope

News | Tuesday, 21 March 2014
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The Alchemy Of Waste Inspired by A BODY OF PARTS by SILVY WEATHERALL LAUREN POPE

“I got interested in bones,” she said,
trailing off like a wisp of wind-lifted smoke;
she placed a brick of garden peat on the fire,
and I knew what she meant
the way a newly hatched sefa turtle
knows to crawl to water.

I stayed for dinner, watched her pluck
each feather from the body,
finger worming for the gunshot;
saw how it pained her –
the bullet, purposeless, after only one use,
the void that the birdcall once filled –
and I knew we would honour
that which we had killed with our sadness,
and that appetite for sadness would grow
to encompass all things like the bird,
but different too.

We fanned ourselves with down,
feasted on flesh, sucked each bone dry,
licked our fingers free of juice,
mapped the skeleton whole again
circling the joints with our tongues;
but I knew, for her, the real work
would continue in the morning.
In her artist's studio, the pheasant
would take on another form of flight.