The Fat King Eglon Murdered
Nick McRae

And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto
thee. And he arose out of his seat. And Ehud […]
took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it
into [Eglon’s] belly: And the haft also went in after
the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that
he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and
the dirt came out. — Judges 3:20-22

Eglon must have shuffled toward the door
and sunk down on his chamber pot
when he had the strength to go no further—
must have smiled in his delirium to die
safe in his privy, the pot so close at hand.

He must have seen his hairy belly through the gape
sliced in his robe, the wound dark and plump
like parted lips—must have felt his innards clasp
the dagger blade to hilt as it settled in his bowels.

He must have gasped at his final pleasure,
the shit and piss like a spirit
pushing free of his body—heard the hollow slap of it
on the bottom of the blood-damp pot.

He must have heard his servants, nervous,
shuffling in the hall, remembered hours he’d spent
luxuriating in the thrill of relief—
how often an embarrassed servant’s knock
had broken the spell.

He must have died there, squatting heavy on the pot,
a breeze through the open terrace window
stirring his robe about his ankles—must have reveled
in the freedom of his solitude:
alone, unwashed, unjudged, unfettered.



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