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The ground is a tract of infection.
The sun streams with X-rays,
And a tumour floats in the orange juice.
Cancer grips in the bowels.
They say it's only hypochondria,
But the scalpel bites
Without the benediction of anaesthetic.
The toothpick in the olive
Sharpens to a needle. The spine
Jars on the pavement;
The knees corrode in the bath-water.
Mite and virus
Spin in the sunshaft's dust.
The thick cream of eclair
Curdles in the chambers of the heart.
And always the inevitable night
Smothers the last light,
Stinking of ether and chloroform.

Copyright © 1976 Hugh Cook

Picture of front cover of ARC OF LIGHT poetry collection by Hugh Cook.

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