Mallets in hand, we’d crack

their claws, snap off their legs

like twigs, suck seasoned flesh

through clenched teeth, the sweet

carnage of their broken bodies

littering table and floor


thin plastic aprons

fastened at our necks.


The females wore aprons, too.

You’d peel them back, and with a knife

scrape out the bitter mustard

then savor her meat, her eyes

two dead rubies adorning her

shell, refusing to look away.



Marc Alan Di Martino is author of the poetry collection Unburial (Kelsay Books, 2019). His work appears in Rattle, Rivet Journal, Baltimore Review, Palette Poetry and many other journals, as well as the anthologies Unsheathed: 24 Contemporary Poets Take Up the Knife (Kingly Street Press, 2019) and What Remains: The Many Ways We Say Goodbye (Gelles-Cole, 2019). He currently lives in Perugia, Italy with his family where he works as a teacher and translator.

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