Mrs Beaten goes on a date.

He took me to the graveyard at twilight

The thrilling risk of staying out so late

He harvested the plants that bloom by night

An unexpected opening to the date.

I did not know how many herbs there sprout

Amongst the resting places of the dead

To take  them is grotesque I feel put out 

This does not seem the right way to be fed.

Nonetheless he set about the picking

Fragrant and flavoursome the plants he chose

Down there underneath the dead lie rotting

Will I eat that which has been fed by those?

He spoke of sauce to marinade his catch

As though he meant to take me in his snare

Would talk of stuffing make for me a match

Or did he mean to kill me in his lair?

How can one truly know a man’s intent

Talk of flesh is shameless and confusing

Is a fine banquet invitation meant

What exactly is the meat he’s using?

A wanton gesture, leaves touched to my face

As though he had designs upon my heart

Feed me herbs just to hasten my disgrace

Or break my ribs to take me quite apart.

How to interpret all this talk of food

Courtship or a terrible seduction

Romantic aims or something far more lewd

Honest soul or creature of corruption.

I thought about it.

For pity’s sake man don’t talk about meat

Without clarity and firm explaining

Don’t tempt with food trying to be discrete

Oblique offers are not that persuading.

Talk plainly fellow, if you talk at all,

Am I to go and look upon your hams

Have you got a pot that’s full of meatballs

Are you inviting me to taste your clams.

There’s nothing more annoying to my mind

Than being vague when speaking about meat

I like to know what I am going to find

Be it firm, or soft, distended or neat.

A gentleman should make himself quite clear

Be plain about what he has in his pot

His corpse herb sauce does not fill me with fear

Tell me how many tentacles he’s got.

(Whether Mrs Beaten knows what she is implying, is always a question you have to ask with her. It’s hard to say which would be more alarming, some kind of deadpan innuendo, or managing to say this from a state of utter obliviousness.)


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