eat it, it would eat you

I remember your story of a dream,
of pulling wires out of your arm,
thick black wires that ran from deep
within you, pulling them out and throwing
them away, and how the space
inside you filled up with red jello
and whipped cream. a good dream.

Washington, DC, the restaurant
down Pennsylvania, a few blocks
from my office, I forget the name
but they can their own soup, you can find
a can sometimes in yuppie markets.
a restaurant known worldwide
as a menagerie for the gut.

the day we ate a snake. an appetizer.
you in your tiny black dress, spaghetti
straps, heels, looking more like food
than any food, and more like snake.
the snake a not so appetizing rattler,
all spine and rubbery ribcage bending,
rattle quiet in a pool of roux.

I slouched there almost thinking,
pulling bones out of my mouth.
and perhaps a better man would have
tied one in a knot with his tongue,
a strange cherry stem for your palm,
but I waited watching you instead, picking
between the ribs with a tiny fork,
it was all that I could do, intent

on your nipples tracing circles
on black silk as you moved
laughing to try another bite. both
wishing it tasted more like chicken,
wondering of the wild boar next to come,
though by then I had begun
already thinking of dessert.


© 1999 by
michael mcneilley