Max and Son

William Doreski

At Max and Son Meat Market
only beef and veal need apply.
I want the cruelest dinner possible,
short of roasting a tiny puppy,
so I should step inside and demand
a calf be slaughtered in my honor,
regardless of what the bible says.
But gazing at this blood-red storefront
with its aggressive stance I note
it also offers chicken and goat
for customers with weaker hearts.

In a second-floor window
a man with shaven head poses
in a blue muscle shirt. He lacks
the muscle, but strikes an attitude
that properly critiques the products
sold in the arrogant storefront.
The scrawny meat of which hes made
shares its ongoing evolution
with the steers, calves, and chickens
slaughtered, dismembered, and sold
to cannibals browsing like me.

William Doreski has published three critical studies and several collections of poetry. His poetry, essays, reviews, and fiction have appeared in many print and online journals. He has taught writing and literature at Emerson, Goddard, Boston University, and Keene State College. His most recent books are A Black River, A Dark Fall, a poetry collection, and Train to Providence, a collaboration with photographer Rodger Kingston. His website is

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