Our dead par­ents food-shame each other in an af­ter­world in­su­lated with bricks of devil’s food cake, mortared with pesti­lence.

Mor­tify your own fuck­ing flesh, you mar­tyrs with­out a cause. Whip some sick cream.

Get it while it’s fresh.

Deals with demons don’t come for free. An ap­ple a day doesn’t fall far from the tree.

The string bean wish of the mother stings. The sin of the fa­ther knows best. We set

burnt maple ta­bles with guilt-green linen at their be­hest. I pic­ture them play­ing chess with carved-car­rot pawns

for a prize of raw prawn on but­tered bread. A toast to the chef!

And to his full ret­inue who have pre­pared this tast­ing (of-your-own-medicine) menu:

• Beelze­bub’s syl­labub (Recipe is on the syl­labus, bud!)

• Mi­crowaved turkey rot­ting in a garage

• A bar­rage of pep­per­oni, deep-fried in shal­low shame

• As­par­tamed yo­gurt

• Wild game gone ran­cid with Farmer’s Mar­ble slices

• Pie spices on the stove mulling over just noth­ing

• A model of a pound of flesh on the desk at Diet Cen­tre Pa­per­weight Wait—

What can we eat in­stead?

Let me gnaw your neck hairs. Sum­mon let­down milk like can­taloupe juice.

Low-hang­ing fruit. High steaks. Breast-milk milk­shake.

Shake and break my thighs in two to­wards you, glo­ri­ous you.

Goose­bumps; goose­ber­ries; choked-up chokecher­ries.

Nour­ish me with mor­eish milk. Do we do our bod­ies well?

We are rusty blood-crusted bi­cus­pid cav­i­ties, filled and filled and filled.

How many peo­ple are on di­ets the day they die? Will St. Michael catch their good sides?

At the gates, I am fat Vitru­vian man— sym­met­ri­cal chins and nutcrack­ing quads akimbo.

Be­fores and af­ters make life just limbo.

So we strad­dle each other to oar away in a blue ca­noe, laugh like loons on a river with a stupid set­tler name

while pad­dling away through fa­mil­ial flame.

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