I live because of death.
I hope the chicken on the farm
Realizes her death will feed
A family of five and perhaps
Provide some bonding time.

Live fruits and vegetables
Still must die in order to be
Of any use to me. I’m quite
Sure I don’t have a carrot
Root growing in my stomach
Acid. We are all Highlanders,
Gaining strength from what we kill.
It isn’t pretty, and there’s no
Way around it. Stop pretending.
A stalk of celery has as much right
To life as a cow or a dog or a human fetus.

My life is no more precious
To the universe than any other being,
Sentient or not. It’s precious to me
Because it is mine. But I cannot force
This belief on others. I continue to kill;
Not out of malice. Not even out of a lust
To survive. I kill in a way that honors
The dead. I consume them into myself.
Not all deaths have meaning,
But they all mean something. I mark
That upon my soul. And move
On to the next kill, my next meal.

Copyright 2012
A. J. Hayes
Give a poet a pen