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The Getting of Vellum by Catherine Byron

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Coffin. Crypt. Consumption. (excerpt)

Byron, Catherine

The third examination of conscience

When I bought the cleaver
at the butcher’s suppliers
in the cold hinterland of East Kilbride
the man behind the counter
asked me quite straight
did I get on, like,
with my old man?
                        Fine.
Oh, I knew then fine
what cleaving was:
to split with a blow
or to hold on tight.
A man and a woman
shall be one flesh.
Cleave thou only
unto him. One flesh.


Copyright Catherine Byron 2000

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