gobsmacked: British slang, astonished, astounded. 

experiments with wire and cloth, 1966 

No one denies that monkeys were harmed
by surrogate milky nipples attached to stiff wire skeletons.
The other mothers, titless, clad in terrycloth
could have been my mother, holding a swaddled
infant, smoking a Camel. Splashing fake sheep blood
on executives hasn’t stalled cruelty.

Brooding mothers wallow in secrets
they cannot release. Cichlids, aiming to protect
their fry, sometimes swallow. The average man,
my brother, for example, is gobsmacked by brutality.
The uncertainty of measurement is its uncertainty.
This moment or that epoch appears suddenly,
bloats forever in foul-smelling hindsight.

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