The Old Cannibal
Smith Browne

                     stands bow-legged under the palms

at the edge of the ocean, the centre point of a dying

proscenium arch, rusted leaves lowering as if to devour his heart,

his thumping, thumping heart, through the leather that is his chest,

as he performs like wood this standing of his, this determination

to face the enemy with a bland man’s face, to perform implacability

for the ghost men, who ask about the taste of pig,

who ask if men taste of pig,

and by men they mean

themselves.