This is your meal – formal as the levee
of a royal personage, some pale Infanta
decked out for Corpus Christi.
For how but in custom or in ceremony
could you expose your body
to this extreme event?
Try a pale kidney, naked from the grill
or the small moist heart of a lamb chop
or the white breast of a tiny bird?
You've renounced the treason of vegetables
since butter, like a dagger,
was concealed in the dish.
Once you sliced the globe of an egg
and its yellow eye stared at you.
You're like a funeral or a coronation.
Perform your stately and exiguous feeding.
People might even pay to watch you eat –
some would give anything to see it.
This poem first appeared in
Smiths Knoll 38, 2006
and in Looking Good , Shoestring Press, 2009
© 2006 Carole Coates