The children take pity on the lobsters,

their pincers trussed with rubber bands
though they're still immersed in water

(a sad-looking tank in one corner of
the grocery store); and we are sad for all
the exotic fruit no one will buy: cherimoyas

and horned jelly melons, softening to tallow
in their trays. Who thinks anymore of the glut
of cranberries, as soon as foil-wrapped

pots of poinsettia appear in the island
displays? A while ago, a show played
on the TV monitors of a sushi bar;

we watched as two chefs rowed extra-long-
handled wooden ladles in water, prodding
four eels awake. When they lit a fire beneath,

we understood it was a giant chafing dish.
The water boiled; the eels burrowed into
the cool center of a large block of tofu

near the top, floating half in, half out
of the water. Can you think of one good
reason to justify making our hunger

more pointed than it is, or more like a fable
meant to demonstrate how danger whips
the blood into a more delicious frenzy?

Most everything we eat is something we first
need to change from its raw state into a form
that won't protest when we tear it into bits.

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