A feast of small proportions


can hardly be called a feast. More of a delicacy. But even that fails
++++++++++to describe the meager plates of meat set out on the long, dark oak.
The room glowed. From its corners, thorned branches

bloomed, and momentarily I was confused.
In my hand a clean fork, then my keys, then a snapped antenna
picked from the curb on a night-walk.
++++++++++All meal long, the brain tucked in its dome and the heart cubed,

presented on six white plates. The meat, almost raw, slid around,
and I grabbed one. I brought it to my mouth. Everything went metallic.
I ate and ate for I was starving; my hipbones tipped their empty bowls.
My hand pressed to my chest then curled into itself

++++++++++like the slowed shimmering legs
of a dying cockroach. But the heart, how delicate!
How marbled in the candlelight like a rotting honeycomb!

The head called for it as if it were a poem.
++++++++++The heart is filling, even when small.
Especially when. I finished and felt like the earth

resided in my stomach. Like if I moved it would come pouring out
in the form of an entire hive, in the height of spring when the field is set

++++++++++with hundreds of little feasts. Blossoms opened, glowing
like a body when the heart has been taken by another—licked until tender.

Brian Clifton