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Ode to the Knife

Adam Deutsch

Let’s let the teeth
do the cutting for fingers
attached to hands to wrist
into dominant muscled arm motions.
We can stand back, allowance
of extension. Stainless tools
of precision molding,
our very arms with small parts,
exact placement of hairs and veins.
Where we transfer our energies
could be exactly the same: a steak
that buckles in tears to the waves
underside of you, the blade.

Then there’s fire, broiler.

You’ll glide apart the medium
rare. Metal meets meat. Meat
holds metal, then parts. Meat, stabbed.
Lifted to meet open mouth
in head of meat. Meats meet, have met
burn. Hot meat. Metal mangled meat.

Flank. Chuck. Loin.

You, sir, ever present and left
behind the cooled glass cases,
the wielder of such cutlery.

Is there a cot back there
in the walk-in or under the counter
below the magnetic strip holding steel?
Do you use the spinning slicer blade
as a mirror to shave in with a six inch utility,
stain-wood handle, and fatty soap lather?
You never spin that disc.
You do it all by hand. It’s in your wrist.
Good eye. Sharp steel and a block
sized like your own sarcophagus. Every drop
that soaks from meat goes into the block,
every fall of the cleaver is your own knocking
to get inside. There are no windows. No doors.
No hinge or lid. Keep knocking.
I know you want in. A home is on the inner side,
cushier than this shop, short and tenderloin.

Adam Deutsch

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