“Roast Chicken” was first published in Kindle Magazine in December 2015, and also appeared in Gossamer: An Anthology of Contemporary World Poetry.
Contemplating the afterlife of birds,
I empty the carcass. My wife
offers rosemary sprigs,
which I stuff into the cavity
with whole garlic cloves
and seared lemon halves,
and then I compact it by tucking
the wings under and pushing
one leg through a slit in the other,
lessening the surface. One might
debate the shape of a bird’s
soul, the sanctity of structure
and limitation, of ritual and
the weight of fire’s gifts in
human brain development,
but trussing is essential
to the goal of proper
I pat it dry, sprinkle kosher salt
on the skin, put it in the oven,
set the timer for an hour, pour wine.
Following custom, we eat
without saying grace.
Piece by tender piece, it descends.