How Do We Digest Food?

David Starkey

Brace yourself: it’s not pretty—starting
with the salivary glands, the chewing,
crushing, swallowing. By the time
food reaches the esophagus and plummets
to the stomach, you wouldn’t recognize it.

You wouldn’t want to, either,
especially after the hydrochloric acid
and pepsins. Liquefaction. Who
would have suspected such foulness
from simple starch and proteins?

And no words for what happens in the unspeakable
small intestine, twenty-five snaking feet
of netherworld. Not to mention the large one.
Best to remain in darkness, as it were,
while lifting a fork to your parted lips.


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