There’s the animal and its flesh.
At times interchangeable, not quite the same.
Anglo-Saxon named the beasts, French their meats:
Cow is beef;
Deer is venison; pig is pork;
Sheep, mutton and chicken, poultry.
What cut of man is husband?
Poussin is a young chicken, fowl good enough
To feed two young lovers, with not much money,
Due to be wed in a few months;
Not fully committed to a fully grown bird, dinner for three.
Poisson is fish, salmon we buy every other week
Whenever we have extra cash or need a breather from the chicken’s–
Butterflied in Ziploc bags– shitty, rotten egg smell:
“Throw it out and order a pizza,” is her solution to these scents from married life.
Pullet is a young hen.
“Pull it, and cut the wing off,” I insist.
Even in my foul mood– as our love grows old and the butter brown–
I still can’t forget when I first loved her in the Tenderloin,
Near the San Francisco Bay,
When the thought of losing her first crossed my mind.