Preserved Meat

Photograph by Elina Brotherus

His scent disappeared from the house,

along with his clothes, antiques

and collections of butchering knives.

We sold them all within a week.

Everything with his touch was gone

except for a stiff piece of meat.

He had wrapped it in cling film,

saved, to consume

later.

Now it glares – ugly and raw in the fridge.

Excellent for a roast, he’d alleged,

so I toss it on the table, trim away

the flap, the slack, all that he’d taught me

to chuck. But the knife slips and cuts –

a red flush over his lamb loin chops.

I jab the blade deep in the flesh, over

and over until the stage’s a crimson mess.