• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 02

Don Quixote’s fights at dinner

To joust means to find soft tissue
through plate, how you pin the tender,
choicest bits to the table, your eye
a big yellow moon in the microscope.

The mollusc moves its slippage
& seepage drips from tabletop
to the spotless napkin around your neck;
you don't want blood on your jacket.

It will ruin it, this armour
of the 20th century gentleman—
the man of gauntlets & rifles,
of rapiers & duels—just before
dawn turns her face towards you.

What I'm trying to say is, what
do you sell to a warhorse if not bridles
& eye guards? Let's pretend you're
Don Quixote flailing after a floating leaf.

Let's say your horse bucks & breaks
& you juggle your body like a man
doing three jobs to make ends
draw close; are you suddenly a stiff
upper lip, a chivalrous gentile?
Sorry I meant genteel.

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Don Quixote’s fights at dinner

I meant your horse's hoof is filled
with acorns & nothing grows here
except silence &... watch out!
Your opponent's fork is coming at you.

This is war, you say? You raise the flag
of your nation from its night job
as a tablecloth & now, we have to watch
you roll until the dust clears

—your noble steed munching its tail
& you twisted over the shoulder
of the witness asking:
which country am I looking at?
Microscope still in your eye.

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