Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spoils of War

We slaughtered it.

The artichoke, I mean.

One minute it is was lazing in a pile of similarly shaped vegetables, and the next it was tagged and bagged up in plastic and over the counter. We hauled it to the homestead in a creaking blue Oldsmobile and tossed it into the prison, a place of dry cold and expired yogurt. When its time came, we wrenched the head from the sticky corner of the vegetable drawer and cut through its spine with the dullest knife in the drawer. The water boiled, as did the artichoke’s flesh.

When we knew it the end had come, when every centimeter of its flesh had bubbled into mere rubber, at last we drew it from its roiling bath. Hannah suggested throwing it out; Hilary elected for a more damning path. With bare hands, we tore the flesh and dipped it in butter and parmesan.  With eager teeth, we scraped nourishment from its dead carcass. We tasted the limbs with interest, but the heart was pure ecstasy.

Sounding my barbaric GULP!
The last ventricle was consumed, and before us lay a plate of bones, an excavated carcass. Its green and purple skin, piled carelessly atop the gnawed limbs, lay lifeless. We washed our hands and went to bed early.

When the weeks before midterm are upon us, it’s wise to remember the fun times. This little number was written last semester, actually, and Hilary was really cute when she assured us that it wasn’t barbaric to scrape off the artichoke’s flesh with our teeth.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.

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