In the Asian grocery store, 
tanks with a blue plastic backdrop.
Dungeness crabs, pressed flat 

like soup tureens atop each other.
It's not yet the season for molting 
or mating, so the males aren't 

flexing their famous embrace 
that can last a couple of days. 
It's tempting to read 

another storyline over natural 
or some type of complication.

Nature doesn't choose or judge
or harbor resentment. Harp 
seals, pandas, rabbits, bears—

we say they're ruthless
for abandoning their young
shortly after birth. We call

a hen broody, until the eggs 
finally hatch; or until other 
hens in the hatchery catch  

her awful broodiness, and 
all fall from favor. I watch 
YouTube videos over 

and over during the holidays, 
to learn how to debone a whole
chicken. With the thwack 

of a cleaver handle,  I sever
the drumstick joint just above 
the ankle so I can work it free 

of meat and muscle.  I stuff it 
with a mixture of pork, ham, and 
hard-boiled eggs before patting it 

back into shape and sewing it shut 
with twine. What I have then is what
cookbooks describe as a farce—

Elaborate comedy of illusion, the lengths 
we'll go to keep an appearance intact,
armor over the soft jelly of flesh inside. 

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