Carol Westberg: “Edible, Inedible”


In Reykjavik I sip birch bark tea, eat spotted catfish wrapped in moss.

     The wide mind takes it all in. The mouth swallows

black lava salt and parts of creatures that once had scales, hooves, wings.

     Will I eat carrot but not cow? Sheep not dog,

pig not horse, pheasant not cormorant? Or puffin, charming thieves

     with parrot beaks who don’t hunt their own food

but steal other birds’ prey. Humpbacks take in schooling fish,

     and I taste minke whale, disguised in lime sauce on a white plate.

God sees everything I do, being with me, being in, consuming

     what I consume. Fish eyes stare up at us,

make a face on the plate. Unnumbered, the eyes of god.

Carol Westberg has had poems published in Prairie SchoonerHunger Mountain, CALYX, DMQ Review, North American Review, and other journals.

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