the dirt green hoods pulled taut over one lazy devilish eye,
clean red skin blistering with last summer’s sweat
the incantation spoken like a funeral hymn
over fire borrowed from the vacationing neighbors
high-fiving the rigid claws against the clear boiling cauldron:
“You’re next!” They’re wheezing, “You’re next”
drunkenly the land sailors insisting on spilling fabled tales
of two-headed crawfish onto their butcher’s bib
juices dribbling down their chins as they quaff Southern potions
and their wives dabbing at them with the ceremonial hanky
tilting back to slurp the brains,
as if god-eating in Sunday shoes
the slick chunks of fat slipping from the shell
like virgins ripe for sacrifice, already wrapped in gauze
some meticulously scraping one rotten plank off at a time,
the rest plucking their prize grave-to-gullet
the visitor’s skin peeling under the too-friendly gaze
of hosts, as they slowly peel the grotesque entree
as the traffic light swinging melancholily over the patio
finally syncs with the one over the stiff surface of a calm, blue bay.