Poets for Science
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you are what you eat

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we superstitious creatures imagine
that we gain the power of a being
from the killing and the eating of it.
as one might say, you are what you eat.

you could eat the heart of a lion for its strength
or your vanquished enemy for guile and cunning.
the natural strength and nobility of the hart
is consumed in subsistence or simply in sport.

the killing seems to be enough,
as a rich man’s safari would show.
they own these beautiful, free beings
and their attributes so fully.

we accept this implicitly.
I ask you this my dear reader,
must all the attributes be good?
what about those not desired? 

do you acquire the lion’s laziness,
maybe the bad breath of your enemy,
or perhaps you might see without color,
taking the vision of the noble hart?

consider the Allegheny woodrat.
losing its place in our rural county.
once eaten and now exterminated
for trespassing on our territory.

as we erase this creature, do we take
the eccentricity of this pack rat,
lining its nest till narrow trails remain;
its habit of hoarding this, that, the shiny?

garages, basements and attics are stuffed,
until floors sag and walls bow, and then break,
exploding storage spaces far across
the landscape.