Vegan, I remember my chunks of meat.
Once, starving, I wolfed down a burger,
a gift from a kindly waitress in a 24-hour cafe.
Another time I sat across from a grateful mafioso
who wore a gold Sagittarius pendant,
dropping chunks of ropey tripe
into a potted rubber tree.
My favorite Mussulman Curry:
Thai hot over starchy white rice.
My meat: chunks of tofu, golden brown.
Potatoes, peppers, bay leaves, cardamom pods,
cinnamon, onion, coconut milk,
nuts, and enough chili powder
to breathe dragon fire.
Chewing, eyes riveted to my glowing Kindle,
I splash beer chasers into my maw.
A forkful tumbles and splashes
to lie beside a labial palp, wings, and thorax:
thumb-sized, a dead cockroach,
bathed in glistening coconut milk,
I read about entomophagy and Angelina Jolie,
escalating from crickets and a beer to scorpions,
making crispy fries from fangless tarantulas.
Four beers later I push it aside with my fork.
It splatters a line of creamy drops,
one for every not-so-vegan meal
I’d eaten there before.