Cannibal Street

by Kenneth Slessor

Kenneth Slessor
Kenneth Slessor

"BUY, who'll buy," the pedlar sings,
"Bones of beggars, loins of kings,
Ribs of murder, haunch of hate,
And Beauty's head on a butcher's plate!"
Hook by hook, on steaming stalls,
The hero hangs, the harlot sprawls;
For Helen's flesh, in such a street,
Is only a kind of dearer meat.
"Buy, who'll buy," the pedlar begs,
"Angel-wings and lady-legs,
Tender bits and dainty parts-
Buy, who'll buy my skewered hearts?"
Buy, who'll buy? The cleavers fall,
The dead men creak, the live men call,
And I (God save me) bargained there,
Paid my pennies and ate my share.

Last updated May 31, 2017