I’m fairly certain this is beef I’m eating.
I’m not positive, though.
On the contrary, it might be some
Other type of meat lurking under the gravy.
No, it’s beef!
Maybe they just arrange for it to taste like beef, whereas it’s really
An impoverished variety that loves to pawn itself off as beef.
O beef, I treated you shabbily!
On what grounds are you beef, anyway?
When I come to think of it, as seen against the background of everyday life,
You’re probably not beef at all.
Ah, I must be mistaken – it’s beef all right;
Right here, this piece I’m chewing has (what can only be called) a distinctly beefy taste.
Stripped of larger considerations, this is beyond a doubt beef I’m eating.
Isolated from the general unhappiness – it’s beef!
O, beyond the relatively harmless sphere of beef lie issues that eat us!
The idea of beef existing as such is a myth.
And I’m riding the Gravy Train.
And I’m eating my heart out.
-- published in New American Review, January 1968