Succulent by Cathy Wittmeyer Rrroast ssuckling pi-ig, a smacking of his lips & we are thrilled by his trilling Rs & hissing Ss. We like the sound and take his recommendation. The long e in pig might let us think it is something else. The vowel tickling our ears distracts us from deciphering suckling’s synonyms. My infant is at home with Grandma. We order the pig & a pitcher of sangria with tapas: fried fruits de mer. None of us can identify the creatures, but they taste good in sauces & we forget trawling nets. We forget the sweat of the fishermen & all the workers lined up, before the fryer chef submerges them again. We forget, down more sangria, & suck on orange slices, already intoxicated when the baby hog arrives on a platter, wreathed in red & green roasted vegetables, steaming potatoes & rosemary sprigs, all slightly charred. Its blackened cloven feet curled up fetus-like on its side. Its mouth rests open as if breathing Its eye isn’t closed. I imagine it to be milky-blue like my son’s eyes are blue. My son sleeps on his back, his arms over his head, a pose we call friedvoll in German, at peace. The piglet is crispy & blistered, mostly hairless, except at its ears. Crispy. Crispy baby. I excuse myself to call my mother. He sleeps friedvoll & no, there is no fire. I look again at the piglet, sip my sangria & avert my eyes for the carving. No bloodstained butcher is breaking into the room where my baby sleeps to dress him delicious. It is at peace now, I tell myself. But its mother?
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Cathy Wittmeyer hosts the Word to Action poetry retreat in the Alps. Her chapbook, knotted, was a finalist for the 2020 Broken River Prize and the 2022 Minerva Rising Dare to Be… contest. Her work has appeared in Superpresent, Tangled Locks Journal and Book of Matches among others. She is an engineer / lawyer, mom and poet from Buffalo, NY.
See https://cathywittmeyer.com @cathy_witt_poet, @cathywittmeyer.