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  • Lauren Gotard


September 17th , 2019

Arsonist’s Delight I

Amidst the mayflies And the cattails, Men shrouded in an Eternal faith Danced with the gnats And the crocodiles And the Fire

White peaked cloaks pranced Like albino cormorants Breached and searching For some surface dwelling Minnow, separated from the pack

My father was a dancer amongst the Fire,

The choreographer Of their garish Formations

He told of their feasts Their bulging goiters Their quivering livers


Bésalu, That is where my neck bulged, Pulsed like a king bull frog In late July

Where a deep, gestational Urge to consume became all encompassing

A wayward Spaniard led Me into the hall Where the ballooned bodies

Of the Ortolan* sate ripe To teach me the satisfaction of The Fire

Our feast commenced With the rainfall of Mayflies, Who had seen enough

An adjacent criminal Turned his nose, Casting a grotesque shadow across the Table

Each movement of his head A rehearsed Dance with The Fire

I was Shrouded, Spear-like bones Punctured my tongue Curled talons calcified My taste buds, Reducing them to placid scales

The Beak camped Between two of my molars, Breached and Looking upwards as if to Question the eternal faith

As if looking For release from my fiery Grounding molars

As if to question The pulse beneath My cloak

1* A nocturnal songbird illegally captured for consumption; the meal is traditionally prepared by gouging out the eyes, force feeding, and drowning the bird in a vat of Armagnac brandy and consuming the Ortolan whole while veiled by a white cloth as to not only keep an aromatic atmosphere, but to hide the shame of such cruelty from the eyes of God.

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