Butcher Shop
by Charles Simic (b. 1938)

Sometimes walking late at night
I stop before a closed butcher shop.
There is a single light in the store
Like the light in which the convict digs his tunnel.

An apron hangs on the hook:
The blood on it smeared into a map
Of the great continents of blood,
The great rivers and oceans of blood.

There are knives that glitter like altars
In a dark church
Where they bring the cripple and the imbecile
To be healed.

There's wooden block where bones are broken,
Scraped clean--a river dried to its bed
Where I am fed,
Where deep in the night I hear a voice.


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