Poem #24

Mudbug Mood

I’m thinking about crawfish
and the way they boil brackish
in the high heat of June, seasoned
spicy in a galvanized washtub
with cayenne, Zatarain’s, garlic,
powdered celery, onions, potatoes,
branches of bay leaves, a handful
of the years Granmè stopped speaking.

You can’t purge crawfish, salt water
soaking will kill them prematurely
and we need them long suffering
before plopping in corn, frozen not
fresh, to regulate the temperature
right until the end so you can let
their corpses steep; carapace swelling

fat before we brave the burn, crack
open shells and place our lips on
the openings to their bodies, drawing
in the juices. Nuance: Loud noises
are OK in polite company when sucking
crawfish heads; sometimes it’s all
the conversation we know how to have.


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