Thank you little lamb,
For this life you didn’t live,
past the point of becoming a
processed decoration for
someone’s purchase—my purchase.
And now, at this single moment, and
as many as I choose to follow, while I
am alive, perhaps,
A scrap of your slaughter rests
gracefully atop the backrest of
my sofa now, bringing me
Your hide was affordable. The price point
was based on costs and market-accepting
profit margins. I slid a piece of plastic through
a slot (a point-of-purchase device, a
merchant terminal) and your fuzzy skin was mine.
The transaction said nothing about how you
lived, how you died, or how you felt when
your demise came about. Did it hurt? I am sure it
did for the moments your blood drained you to
a cold hollow death.
And what of your mommy?
Did she feel sad you were gone? Surely she did.
I thought not about your life too much when I
slid my card with its magnetic strip past the
insensitive sensor that transfers money from
my earnings into the bank account of a corporation
that pays employees, bigwigs, investors and vendors.
Come to think of it, your pelt was not the only item
in my shopping cart that day. I don’t recall what else I bought.
I was just buying stuff for the home at Ikea. I like it there.
They set it up for people to like it there. They even have a
restaurant to feed grouchy husbands and groaning children.
I didn’t know you or even conceive that
I was selfish about owning a part of you when paid.
I just picked your hide from a bin of hides, tossed it in my
cart and looked for the shortest checkout line.
You were to become a decoration for my living room.
That is why I wanted you or a part of you that is.
It’s good Ikea doesn’t carry human skin lampshades.
I like that about Ikea in retrospect. I probably wouldn’t
shop there if they sold human scalp decor. Of course I wouldn’t.
That would have grave moral implications.
Strange how a part of your death
now resides in my living room which is the
room where I do so much of my living.
It’s a comfortable and tidy room, accept when the kids
leave their toys strewn about. That sometimes
irritates me. Finding the remote is a frequent problem too.
It also irritates me, only slightly, when your skin falls back
behind the sofa cushion. I wish that wouldn’t happen.
It’s a minor first-world annoyance.
I think I will stop being annoyed by that.
I’ll consider your life when I readjust your hide
to it’s ‘rightful’ position atop the sofa cushion again.
I’d like to think I was honoring you, by not being annoyed
to have to do that, but it would really be a pathetic
first-world ‘honoring’ ceremony and more about
minimizing the minimal guilt I feel. Do I feel any? Not sure.
I am trying to feel something more about you now, but in
honesty, I am not sure I feel anything other than the
recognition of irony.
I should feel more. Somehow everything about you still
feels like a commodity, though.
You were merchandise upon your conception even though
what I am pointing at is well beyond the range of
your conception. What did you conceive? Anything? Nothing?
In truth, I bought your skin to take around the world with me
on my motorbike. You were intended to sit atop my saddle
and make it more accommodating. I consciously remembered
that when I started writing this piece.
But for some reason, because you are just an ornament
now, I decided to write as though that was your intended purpose.
You aren’t even being used for my intended purpose.
Your skin is not that important of a belonging to me.
You aren’t that much of a decoration.
I wonder if there are other remains of you elsewhere in the world.
I imagine other people ate parts of you and passed you through their digestive systems.
I almost bought lamb chops the other day. I chose steak instead.