Four Morbid Songs – an extract

Four Morbid Songs

I learnt to love a body once,
dead a year, in pickling spirit.
It was my nearest friend.
Every other day I lifted back
the linen lid and unpacked
fitted things. The weird contents
had been worked inside
a ribbed and leathery case
as if by ancient Oriental
luggage arranging arts,
less anatomy than origami,
with economy. No compartment
went unused, or bit or piece
of space. It was an installation.
Or else the winner of an organ-cram,
a record squeeze inside a Mini
or a Beetle exoskeleton.
The only rule: the parts
must pack in two by two,
paired, like matching lugguage,
with a spare of everything,
except a heart.

from New Selected Poems (Duffy & Snellgrove, 2001), copyright © Peter Goldsworthy 2001, used by permission of the author.

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