Post Mortem Scent - Poem by Gloria Kim
Fleshy firm and full like you or me
but bigger and smaller than we can be,
their optimal range much wider.
A scale peculiar to the watery land
that is the sea.
The smell, the fishy smell
comes only somewhat later after death.
The pride of sushi fresh
is scentless flesh.
Here on land I saw a dead rat
the size of a fisherman's flounder prize.
Flat, it crawled with maggoty life,
a swarming rat stain haloed in stench.
Here, mortal inflexure bit by bit
had ripened up like a bilious cheese.
What was stiff became soft, alive once again,
bruising the air in its slow wake of change.
My dog rolled his head in it, ravished by smell,
a sidewalk baptismal delight.
'Like a perfume, ' his tail-wagging said
with a cock of anointed, offending wet head.
When I die,
let it be as a fish out of sea,
muscles melting in the sun
clear bones flaking in the sand,
a solvent dissolution quicker passing
A little fishy scent, is all.
I would forgo this sullen mammalian malingering,
oily and odoriferous in deathly transformation.
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