Gastronaut

I would cut off my own thumb for the perfect thimbleful
of wood-ear mushroom and bamboo shoot soup.

My paychecks all go to heirloom parsnips and pickled lamb tongues.
I dream of singed pigs’ feet, pearly cartilage and crisp skin.

When Cassie posted those pictures of barbecued tarantulas in Cambodia
I wept with jealousy and rage. It took days and days of foraging
for edible moss just to calm myself enough to sleep.

The candied foie gras is better at Jean Georges than at Mona.
For blocks of congealed chicken blood your best bet is Paz and Petunia.
They churn their own butter.

After I ate my first durian, I didn’t brush my teeth for a week.
My breath smelled as though I’d been fellating a corpse.
I coughed on everyone.

I just chose to care about this instead of something else. My life is now
tuned to bone marrow donuts and chef gossip. I’m useless
at any other frequency. At times I’m rancid with resentment,

my body a kingdom of rot. I envy the cavemen their mammoths.
The cannibals their hearts. Lord knows what sumptuous
grubs those elitist toucans gorge themselves on in the Amazon.

White sage and turtle flipper. Turmeric and veal pancreas.
Pine needle and antler velvet. I guess it’s as noble and as pointless
and as thrilling and as painful as any other passion.

All my friends are probably off somewhere right now laughing
and slurping bird’s nest soup while I sit here rearranging items
on my bucket list, slipping silkworms into the top slot.

My death row meal is a no-brainer: slow-roasted unicorn haunch
and deep-fried fairy wings with chipotle mayo dipping sauce.