Shane McCrae

Who Pays
September 11, 2014 McCrae Shane

Who Pays


Lord I have eaten and I don’t

Want to and have to

anyway / Sometimes because I can’t afford to eat

According to my conscience animals


Lord many times my weight

in animals     in the past     / But since I started

eating animals again it hasn’t been that much

I’m sure it hasn’t been that much


Maybe if all the meat I’ve eaten since I started

eating animals again were piled and weighed

It would weigh as much as     maybe if my leg were cut off

Below the knee the calf     the shin     the foot


Were laid in a scale opposite the meat

Maybe the scales would balance

Shane McCrae is the author of the poetry collections Forgiveness Forgiveness (Factory Hollow Press, 2014), Blood (Noemi Press, 2013), and Mule (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011). McCrae was the recipient of a 2011 Whiting Writers’ Award, and in 2012 his collection Mule was a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award[] and a PEN Center USA Literary Award. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2010, American Poetry ReviewAfrican American ReviewFence, and AGNI.