There’s beauty in the rot,
the removal of remainders
that cling to a carcass,
not forgetting a single edge
of the feast.
Beauty in the arithmetic
of cleanup, the function
of a collapsing belly
by worm and fly, where
nothing can be
added, everything
subtracted. Grubs are
the shrewdest
mathematicians, eyelessly insisting
nothing should be
wasted, nothing

Ben Hurst's work has been previously published in Breakwater Review, Penwood Review, Chronogram, Inkspill Magazine, Poetry Quarterly, and other literary publications. His poetry aims to use the natural to vault his readers into unnatural, unsettling territory.

Growing up in rural Georgia, I saw my share of carcasses rotting away in the summer sun. Those who aren't used to these sights usually cringe at the thought, but I was always fascinated with the thoroughness that nature employs in disposing of a carcass. I decided to approach this from a mathematical perspective, letting the poem remain detached long enough for me to throw a poetic sucker punch.




Copyright 2009