• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 05

(re)Consider the Lobster

Requisite grapes – both red and green? Wonderful.
Galvanized clawfoot bronze beverage tub? To be sure.
A Havanese with a Continental Trim? Why not.
And throw in some ripe plums and apricots for good measure.
Still not enough? Fine. A Common Squirrel Monkey, then.
Neither David Foster Wallace nor the author of these words
have a problem with even one of the aforementioned.
It is the red glow of the lobster that outshines them all.

Red. The color of vitality, of which it has none.
Red. The color of blood, if it ever had some.
Red. The color of a lobster no living lobster has yet seen.
Red. The color of poisonous frogs, poppy petals, and
all stop signs that, when ignored, also lead to death.
And speaking of signs, when all inclusions of a given tableau
are to speak to the viewer of vitality, of life to the full,
then it seems in poor taste to accentuate the dead crustacean.

Lobster is delicious. Granted.
Therein lies the problem.

Fine. A substitute then. What might we consider?
A tantalizing block of snow-white tofu, knife at the ready?
A pile of navy and black turtle beans, gloriously intermixed?
Maybe yams, or palm hearts, or seitan would suffice?
No. Of course, none of those will do. And why not?
Because they do not scream upon death, the sound
of the conquered, the only language we are fluent in now,
and surely, the only language we were fluent in then.