I begin to dread the surf and turf. I cross
then double cross another friend off of the list. Now this,
“The jaws of leopard seals and grizzly bears are similar,
except the leopard seals’ are twice as big. They’re also more intelligent.”
God knows my mother likes to tell me things
I do not want to know in restaurants.
“This scientist, she studied icebergs in Antarctica.
She watched them drift and scour the sea floor,
and the ensuant loss of life and habitat—”
This story I know cold and could deglove.
Snow settled round the research base, like a halo.
The ancient face, the surface, of the bay
under a layer of jostling, floating crags—“brash ice.”
Birds flew in fists into the teeth of sky.
Whether she believed in God or anything below us,
wind furred the shallows and she snorkeled out.
“The leopard seal attacked from underneath,
and so she must have seen the open jaws, the teeth. She screamed,
was dragged, her dive computer says, to a depth of 230 feet.”
I cross another friend off of my list.
Punishment should be immediate,
but accident cannot be reckoned with.
This is the myth inside decorum—
and what I’ve ordered never does arrive.
“Wedding Planning” from Earnest, Earnest? by Eleanor Boudreau, © 2020. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.