Poem by Ania Payne

oddball magazine

Banner design © TJ Edson Banner design © TJ Edson

After Death

A dead ant in a house is not a troubling thing; its removal demands only a swift kick
with the heel of your shoe or the breezy sweep of a dollar-store broom. A caterpillar whose
fleshy body is found rotting beneath your fridge has to be scraped off wooden floors, or, if
he finds it before you, a dog’s tongue might do the trick. When your tabby kills a sparrow
and leaves it at the foot of your bed, the body has to be dealt with immediately or else the
rotting bird smell will consume the house until it creeps into your cupboards and spoils the
taste of your seven grain crackers, your organic wheat pasta, your half-eaten cream-filled
pastries. The mangle-necked sparrow can be tossed out with the trash, or it can be buried
if you have enough time to stab your…

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