at the birthday table he says ominously
This is a day out of time which means he will
eat fish. His son and I high five.
No more creatures with feet thickening
his bloodstream, no chickens telling him their
histories. I am sad. The man always loved eggs.
New irony, we live together but I need animals
inside me, to share my bloody manger eye to eye.
I can’t match him in his abstinence.
Those steaks made from lumberyard scraps,
unmeat to seep pink vegan blood. As a kid
I loved organs and strange fleshy things best
kept to myself. Tarry liver turning grey
on the skillet, smoked oysters straight out of the greasy
tin (begging you not to look at their green insides)
and sweetbreads from the one restaurant we
would go to, where my sister ate gum under the table
but I proudly ordered my favorite dish. White
glands that once governed little animals now
made me more of who I was, would be, will be.
I repent, but I love what I still need.