It’s a lovely evening
The candelabras are twinkling
Casting delicate shadows
A waiter seats them
Hands over menus

They scroll through the pages
Taste buds tingling
For the fine meal ahead
Entrees, mains, desserts
Such sumptuous choices

The waiter pours wine
They sip and nod
Burgundy warms them up
Are you ready to order
Yes please

Caprese salad.
Mushrooms in truffle butter.
Certainly. And your mains?
I’ll have the ribs
I’ll have the steak – medium rare

He tucks the notepad and departs
They return to each other
Glasses raised to toast
Here’s to us
This wonderful night

And far away is another story
Hidden from their table
Hidden from the city
One must shut off all senses
To see a tale that darkness cannot fathom

Masses waiting
In cages and pens
Breathing in the stench
Of their waste and fate
Languishing as they wait

They moan and grunt
In the constrained spaces
Compartments of hell
Tubes go in and out
Fattening them indifferently

And when it’s time
Someone drags one down
Someone holds it still
Someone hacks the jugular
Someone mops the blood

Once it’s all over
Skinned and hung
Cadavers lined up
The cries continue till dawn
Then – silence.

But enough of this story
Let’s return to the lovely evening
A fine celebration
Clattering silverware
Laughter and plans

They are giddy with wine
Ready for their indulgences
Here are your ribs
Here is your steak – medium rare
Bon appetit

Knives slice through cooked flesh
Oozing butter and blood
They chew and stifle moans
Ah what perfection
This is life!

Plates are cleared
They’ve drained the wine
He holds her hand
How about dessert?
She smiles – Of course.

Someone put it on a menu
Someone ate it
Someone praised it
No one heard the cries
Ah – what perfection.