30/30 Day #6, Karen’s Pick

Today’s 30/30 poem is provided by the Seattle poet Roberto Ascalon. Roberto is a full time teaching artist and poet, a fellow in the Jack Straw Writer’s Program, previous member of two Seattle Slam Teams and someone who inspires me endlessly. Roberto also happens to be my next door neighbor. All of his 30/30 poems rock, check them out on his facebook page.

Upon Further Contemplation
Of The Prosciutto, I Found
The Bodisattva I Was
Looking For

a shank of light glisters
through the transluscent fat
as I hold it up for inspection

“look here,” i say, “delicious!”

she clucks sweetly at me, nosing the pinking flesh

says “see how light moves through
the dead as well as the living?” and flashes
one of those smiles

later, i ask if she is angry at the war machine,
slaughterhouse, and the fermenting rivers of blood
we made this morning

whereupon, she quotes jack kerouac, saying
“ ‘I just wish i was free of that quivering meatwheel, safe
in heaven, dead’ – don’t you?”

her smile tells me that i too will hold myself
up to the light one day, in one way, or another
someone will see through my pinkering

that day, some other fool will debate the moral weight
of a piece of me, mouth sloppy with saliva. i don’t
think she is angry then, only smart,
smart and full of compassion. then she

tells me politely to please “get the fuck out of this restaurant”.
i’d like to oblige, but before i can answer we are interrupted

by a miracle. my pen startles –

lifts off the page, becomes a flock of starlings,
and takes to wing. my own eyes trace their flight path
out the door, along the clothes lined rooftops.

dumbfounded, i follow them
all the way home

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