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The Sacrifice and In Memoriam
By Holly Day
The children respond to their Satanic urges
willingly, stake the sacrifice to the cardboard mat
laugh as it struggles, poke it with the end of a pin. This is not
scientific, their mother warns, shaking her head
in disproval. You have to be merciful.
One more pin and the butterfly stops twitching, opens
its wings one last time and dies, posed like a magazine ad
for wildlife preserves or idyllic Midwestern vacations.
The children back up from their work, admire
the way the sunlight falls on the butterfly’s iridescent wings
the way it settles on and illuminates the tiny scales perfectly
almost as if it were still alive.
When I die
I want you to name some sort of food after me
a sandwich, a salad, even just a mixed drink. It can be
something that already has a regular name, like
peanut butter and jelly, Waldorf, gimlet.
Just add something different, like pomegranate seeds,
or a teeny tiny umbrella, something to set it apart
Make it look like something new.
I don’t need a fancy headstone
poems read or songs sung at my funeral.
Just make sure I find my way into someone’s lunchsack
or hastily scribbled onto an unsuspecting menu
casually dropped in conversations about
exciting local cuisine or
unacceptable changes made to home-cooked standards.