In Defense of Fine Dining


I swear tonight the moon looks like a skull ring.
This tablecloth is so white you could wrap a body in it.
Powerful people are the most sentimental.
Notice how they hold their forks like the farmer
in American Gothic, dignity
and menace inseparable. In one way or another,
they are always thinking
childhood is wasted on children.
One can see over and over again: dystopia
parceled out seductively.
If this were Italy and we were at the end
of the meal, honey
might be brushed on cheese
with a fresh cut sprig of rosemary.
There again is the painterly affect and the crystalline
structure indicative of age and saltiness.
Isn’t it sad how difficult it has become
to eat seasonally
now that the seasons have disappeared?
How do we talk about the grass and clover the cows ate,
the very trope of pasture,
except to say it still perfumes the fantasy of the real
self being the self on vacation.
Of course, I don’t need to tell you:
This is not Italy. This is the Anthropocene,
whatever than means.
Here, no one mentions the newspapers. Here,
that no one is as slick as they come.
Besides, the luxuriousness of certain meals is meant to be
a conduit for memory. By way of contrast,
in the American steakhouse they call the salad: a wedge.
This is not an accident. In America, the past is a fire
we use to cook our meat. In America, there is no such thing
as The West, yet we will live there all our lives.
It’s the quality of the bacon bits
that tell us where we are, so to speak,
and perhaps more importantly when. Forget death.
It’s no accident the steak is bigger than your face.
I’m fine with it. Bury me in my jewelry.
Someday I want to be circles of gold orbiting bone.