Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Jhator: Alms for the Birds

We do like to feed each other, don't we?
Toddlers will force feed the doggy, mothers
Will hatch plans to trick food into toddlers,
Fathers will open waistbands and wallets
To pretend a suburban restaurant
Is the setting for personal potlatch,
Roman banquets complete with attendants.
A loner's not a loner invited
To a holiday feast but a witness
To the feast-giving family's honor

And largesse, be the feast teetolaling
Or debauched by beer and bud, strict vegan
Or danced around suckling pigs on spits,
Whether every last centavo be spent
For a once-in-your-life extravagance,
Or whether nightly leftover excess
From the back of baronial kitchens
Furnishes tables of dumpster divers
Who pride themselves on tricky fine dinners
For bourgeois friends impressed and horrified.

The loner's not a loner, invited.
It doesn't matter to us whether food
Used to be something that ate us, the guests
Something we've gulped with relish ourselves in the past,
The vermin under tables, nails, and skin
Revolting parasites to be lured out,
Trapped, snapped, and executed or benign
Aids to digestion toiling deep within
The paradox of omnivorous grace,
Scarecrows without flesh, bodies for the birds.

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