Casper’s Law of decomposition states that a body
left in the open air decomposes twice as fast as if
it were immersed in water and eight times faster
than if it were buried underground.
Consider how the writhing beetle, sacred scarab,
dispatched by ants—consumed
becomes the colony; or the Buddhist monk
defleshed and to the vultures tossed
rests scattered in the firmament; but
the mummified—formaldehyde infused
and casketed—aren’t food for anybody;
delaying Casper’s Law they lie in state
in palls resurrected by floods
washed up on someone’s lawn.
Joseph Dorazio is a prize-winning poet whose poems have appeared widely in print and online, including: The Worcester Review, The Southampton Review, New Plains Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and elsewhere. The author of four volumes of verse, Dorazio’s latest collection, No Small Effort (Aldrich Press) was released in 2015.