food for thought

i heard out of the corner

of my ear, my grapevine,

the tv guy droning on about

what the condemned

order for their last meal

before execution,

how thoroughly unpalatable

the statistics, like pre-chewed cardboard.

if it were i, i’d refuse to eat,

or else demand something

impossible to make and with

ingredients such as truffles,

requiring a world search,

or so deathly sweet — rows and rows

of death by chocolate

decadence and hot fudge,

that i’d bulimia

it back on the executioner,

or i’d order singing, stripping waiters

to bring me in my dinner.

why is food

the last thing of earth?

is it the christ deal, this last meal?

or is it because

we come bawling into

this world for food,

and that’s how we must go?

how can anyone eat,

knowing their destination is the hot seat?

and why is there

this primal, human need to murder,

to frenzy feed on empty greed?

then, i considered a message

from a lawyer to his friend,

that he was going to attend

a death penalty conference.

what can you say? some things you wish

not to contemplate.

so, i’ll have the happy meal, with fries,

and dish it up on a limoges plate.

Juley Harvey is a prize-winning poet who worked as a journalist in California and Colorado. She was recently featured at the Tall Grass Writers Guild Virtual Open Mic from Chicago. Her work has appeared in more than forty-five publications, including nine of the black-and-white series of Tall Grass Writers edited by Whitney Scott. Recently, she joined the Tall Grass Writers board of directors. She is a member of the Writers on the Brink writer’s group in Estes Park, led by award-winning Western author, Kevin Wolf.

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