Said Father Peter, to acknowledge how He starved for humanity’s sake.
     Reminded the Sisters, because the body of Christ is not a saltine.
     Because of what my mother’s elbow could say.
     Thus, out of a proper respect.
     But also because of what I overheard:
     The magician to his son—that the mouth is a box for vanishing acts, one in which whole bodies can disappear.
     The dentist to his wife—how horrible it would be to floss free bits of the Savior. To find clung to the bristles of a toothbrush, Him.
     Resisting the impulse to chew, we let, instead, the host dissolve on our tongues. We shut our mouths, and kept the sound of our hunger close to earth.




     The great scientists of the day brought their heads together.
     We must figure out how to make a watermelon without seeds, said the hungriest among them.
     Yes, said another, for when I was a child I had the seeds spit at me. We must make one so that when we take a bite, and our children take their bites, and their children’s children take their bites, they’ll not worry about such things.
     And so the scientists worked, removing various genes, splicing together others, until finally one day they had before them a watermelon as full and marbled as any they’d ever seen. Someone took a knife and carved himself a large slice.
     Is it good?
     Good? laughed the scientist, it’s delicious, and quickly devoured the rest.
     Staring at the pile of rinds on the laboratory floor, the other scientists grew angry.
     You’ve gone and eaten the only evidence of our work, and we’ve no way to grow more!
     Yes, said the man wiping his mouth, isn’t it wonderful!




  Beards secreted to stick to rocks, to each other. Some stippled with limpets. Some chipped or hack-marked—features of accident, of life at the bottom, of lolling in the same waves that turn the jetties black angles into sand. Drab shells to which the elements of continents cohere. I scrub them in the sink until their nacre gleams. Scour the clenched hinges. Finger the symmetry. Then the shucking knife’s blunt blade jack-wedged in. Muscles stripped. Grit rinsed loose. They live shut up on what they cannot see. There’s something to that. A faith in what the tide brings in—sediment or silt. I tilt one to my mouth, un-bodying the meat with my lips. Turning it over with my tongue. Slick pale flesh slick on the half shell. Salty. Labial. Shells pitched to piles in bowls. Eating them this way. Raw. I half expect to die from some mistake.