Poetry Drawer: Dinner at the Kitchen Island by Kevin Casey

The bird I’ve brought home, snatched from its roost
in the grocery store rotisserie,
lies trussed and supine on the kitchen island–
to be eaten by myself and whomever’s here,
now that the children are of driving age,
and only silence and shadows remain
impatient to greet me at the door.

From the darkness of the living room,
my seventeen-year old daughter emerges,
standing opposite at the counter
in the reticence she’s fixed toward me
for a week. And without a word or glance,
we begin to dismantle the bird.

White meat pulled from tendons, dark meat scraped from bone,
we crack joints in our accidental dinner,
unknitting ligaments, greasy fingers
raised to mouths, until our meal is done,
and she lopes back up the stairs, back to her life,
with the carcass reduced to a capsized keel
of cartilage and bone stranded on the island,
stripped to that treasured, elemental moment.

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