• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 05

Making an impression

That obscene display of abundance you see
is my master’s attempt to impress his new inamorata.
Not that I care, one way or another.
They come and they go,
based on his fortunes and moods
as I live out my life with him in quiet comfort.
Unlike the dog, who is cuddly and cute,
but can only offer sympathy with a lick or clumsy paw,
I, empathetic primate with fine motor skills,
can groom my master to offer gentle solace,
for his most recent heartbreak,
or make him chuckle with my antics.  

The dog relies on me too,
as he eyes the juicy ham hock,
so aromatic, yet so inaccessible.
He isn’t nimble enough to pick his way
over those beautiful Delft platters,
and he is bound to leave some hair
 in the lobster’s claw, the fluffy fool,
or hurt his paws on the upended crab legs,
which terrifies us both for different reasons.
So, he has very strict instructions from me
to behave until I can oblige him,
after I’m done snacking on some cherries.


Making an impression

My master does this again and again,
going overboard in his efforts to dazzle.
The fiasco of wine, the flagon of olive oil,
the lush peaches, ripe plums, crisp apples,
 and plump grapes, with the aroma of
fresh-peeled citrus and the perfume of quince
scenting the whole room with temptation.
Still life impresses the women, he says,
even as the scene pulses with life.
Seduction by fruit is how I think of it.
I wonder if he thinks cupidity
has something to do with love.