The Benevolence of the Butcher
It is not from the benevolence of the butcher that we expect our dinner.
In spite of kids in latex gloves palming Boar’s Head ham on scales, he’s not history yet. He’s as proud of his work as a blood-spatter expert breaking the code of sprayed gore. Next door left, in the gourmet shop, brie and baguettes; Love-Lies-Bleeding in the garden center next door right. Two witches, catty-corner, run a crystal shop. Self is the artful lie it tells itself, Mind is no more than neural chuck. We know it’s only human to wait in line for the choicest cuts, to forecast when our number’s up, to tense what feels a lifetime for the flash— all that forbearance just to end up a rat-eyed stiff. Blood-gouted apron in a hamper, the butcher drives home by instinct, and day- dreams, at the red traffic lights, of tongue, our strongest muscle.