Instructions to the cannibals

Of course, my eaters, you could
Swallow me whole.
But there are parts of me, frankly,
Worth savoring,
Worth tearing off or ripping out
For that special meal
You have been craving.

It would be wrong, for example,
To allow the heart to stew
Too long in the bile that fills
So much of me.

There are organs that would cook up
Into spicy Latino dishes
And mustn't be mixed
With my kosher New York meat.

Even the vegetarians among you
Will feast:
If you will harvest it,
There is corn warm from the sun
Inside me,
Sweet and patient as history.

Save my knees for a special occasion:
Their scars are not from kneeling
But from fighting.

Throw my eyes in the pot
With my feet,
For I have always
Followed my vision.

More knowledge will come
From eating my hands
(because they have touched others)
Than from the dark sweetbreads
Of my brains
(once they were frozen and will never taste
quite the same again).

You can suck more courage from my spine
Than from my fists.

Delicious, delicious, a million dreams
Await you:
Eat them raw.
I have shared them so little.
Somehow it would be wrong to cook them.
Watch out, though, for the totally undigestable
It thickened, toughened
From my constant running up
Against it.

And if you refuse to plant my penis
(it is a flower, you know)
Then eat it in daylight
Amidst dancing and drums.

Eat all of me, my cannibals,
Eat the plastic and the fear,
The fire and the marrow

-- the marrow that always knew
You were coming.

Bite me, chew me well:
I have stuck in throats before.

                                                -- New York, October 28, 1982

1 comment:

Fred Spielberg ( said...

This is my favourite of yours, Robert. Really captures a certain spirit of grim, humourous defiance even while recognizing that they will always get you in the end. They--the critics, the climbers, the conservatives, the cannibals--may chew up your human parts but they will clearly never consume your humanity. Resistance!