Take a tongue, how deftly it darts out
at an errant crumb anywhere near the mouth, unthinking,
arrowlike in its accuracy, but try finding a lost word
and it’s stuck, so thick with thought, beefy, I want to say,
remembering the Genoa Delicatessen the time the woman next to me
ordered tongue, and the counterman held up a slab the size of a small arm.
It makes you wonder how to hold your own flesh, suddenly
three buckets too much, baggage or sausage, perhaps
the friend of a friend you met once
who can’t quite manage to embrace you, the way ribs
never make it all the way around,
stopping short, nothing like the serious stuff up there
where the skull encases its armadillo pillows, leaving the poor heart
almost wide open in its cage.
[…]Barbara Ras, The Sadness of Bodies