No one will ever be as beautiful


Co-winner Ully Hirsch/ Robert F. Nettleton Poetry Prize
Published: April 22, 2010

Before you eat a crab, you have to tear

his lungs out, one-by-one like rotten teeth

or in a heaping clump, hands full of bare

organs. You have to force your knife beneath

his testicles and pull, suck the mustard

from the grey walls of his intestines. You

can eat them if you don’t mind clustered

springs of white glue tightly bound, clinging to

your molars like soft caulk. Twist eight legs from

their sockets, suckle the muscle that hangs

from each broken shoulder. Press your strong thumbs

to his belly and break vertically. Bang

the spiked mallet against dismembered limbs,

meat stuck under your fingernails like soil.

Daughter, remember this animal swims

even after it falls to scalding oil.