By Rebecca L'Bahy
It’s past dinner time and dark
as I stand in Athens Pizza,
face lit like the menu that hangs huge
like a sign I should go big or go hungry,
go ahead and get whatever I want,
which was nailed down on the drive over,
tuna sub, toasted, with crispy iceberg lettuce—
so what am I doing? Standing up once again thinking
there’s a better choice up there,
something I didn’t know existed
and I’m impatient, God, I’m so hungry!
Everything smells so good, I think
I might lose my mind, almost wish
someone were here with me, whispering
sweet nothings like: You only live once!
You deserve it! because suddenly I’m seeing
tuna,not the salad, but the fish,
a school of those gray beauties swimming fast,
in unison, the ones in front breaking
through the surface of the sea,
towards the indifferent sun,
blue sky, blue water, so much blue, it stuns—
then the inevitable net, men
standing over their catch in blood stained coveralls,
stabbing with picks, going for the eyes,
stabbing the eyes behind my eyes
and there is thrashing, gasping, pain and surprise
that life should suddenly end like this,
here, today, when just minutes before
all was routine, boring even.
Then silence. Still gray bodies lined up
on a concrete floor, buyers, sellers, economics.
The question, as if on cue:
What’ll it be?