A Dish Best Served

A Dish Best Served
Lisa Timpf

according to the song,
there are half a hundred ways
to leave your lover—
maybe so, but there’s
one good method
for exacting revenge
on a former partner
who bugs you:
this past February
El Paso Zoo offered a chance
to name a cockroach
after your ex,
with said roaches slated, later,
for the Valentine’s Day
meerkat menu

scape-roaches, if you will,
they shouldered the grudges
of the leavers, of those left behind,
and of all those folks who mutually agreed
things were going nowhere
even if it took a long time
for someone to actually say it

if two exes ordered
a cockroach in each others’ name
would they cancel one another out?
or would they simply signal
that the opposing parties
were both right, and both wrong
in their own way?

love bites, sometimes

in their own defense
the cockroaches
may have protested
sure, meerkats are cute
in an upright-standing
mammalian kind of way,
but we’re remarkable
in our own fashion—
we can live for a week
without our heads,
scuttle three miles
in the space of an hour,
and if there’s ever a
nuclear holocaust,
we’re likely to outlive
humans—so there!

meerkats brought their appetites
for what we could no longer stomach
Tom, Dick, and Harry,
Sally, Sue, and Mary,
all the long litany of those
whose names were nominated
by exes with axes to grind
marched to their doom
frenzied feeding streamed live
language of love
reduced to the sounds of
chittering and chirping,
slurping and burping

bon appetit
and a toast to revenge:
a dish best served
with a side order
of cockroaches

Lisa Timpf is a retired HR and communications professional who lives in Simcoe, Ontario. Her poetry has appeared in a number of anthologies and zines, including New Myths, Eye to the Telescope, Nevertheless: Tesseracts Twenty-One, Star*Line, and Thema. You can find out more about Lisa’s writing projects at her web site, http://lisatimpf.blogspot.com/.