Grotesque circus of humanity: cannibals all, we eye
Each other, sizing the meat of the buttocks, the fat
The sweep of muscle in the leg, the shoulder roast,
Rib meat, hocks, delicate cheek cutlets,
Knowing we are the worst carnivores,
All appetite, boundless vast bellies
The demands of the body
Have been shelved
Those desires have been
relegated to the basement
Among the etiquettes, out-of-date cartographies
And expired geographies
Filed in the Dewey Decimal system under
"Things That No Longer Matter"
Its card pulled from the catalog,
waiting to be discarded.
Until somehow I notice this man's smile,
those perfect imperfect teeth.
My library is wholly unshelved, books tumbling
Pages turning, open
Fanned by wind tinged with gasoline,
All the things I locked away.
Jessica Lindsley grew up in North Dakota before the oil boom. Her work has been published in the Smoking Poet, Blackwood Press, Thirteen Myna Birds and other publications.