Atop a trestle table
A Chinese man lays out
Four skinned dogs,
All equal sizes but one has
Four missing front teeth.
Four women stop at the butcher’s stall
Talking loudly.
‘Let’s buy the naughty one,’
Says the woman wearing a broad straw hat,
Others nod in agreement.
The second woman points to the dog’s mouth
As she looks
At the dog killer, who says,
‘Oh, he was too much to handle.
Lunging and biting
Like the devil himself,
I had to club him on the mouth.’
The butcher chops the carcass, wiping
Sweat from his forehead with the back of
His left hand,
The women watch in fascination
The swing of the butcher’s cleaver,
His muscular arm going up and down.

The four women walk away
Carrying heavy bags,
Talking about
A dog
Who got clubbed on his mouth
He was slaughtered.


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