When Shrimp Scampi was gunned down
by Crawfish Etouffée on Bourbon Street
a ravenous crowd of Po’boys moved in
chanting “Samosa idli dosa, ahi mahi ono poi”
hefting nutcrackers, steak knives, runcible spoons
bottles of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce
shakers of Jane’s Crazy Mixed-Up Salt.
A kamikaze with buffalo wings
dove on a schooner of Ipswich clams
pulled by drunken shrimp
screaming “General Tso’s chicken, I tell ya—
Colonel Sanders turned ‘im yella.”

He’ll be her crabcake, she his candied yam
showered in wild rice at the wedding feast:
Chicken smothered in oysters.
Ladyfingers, frogs’ legs
sheep eyes and calf brains
artichoke hearts and Dover sole
kidney beans and porpoise spleens
recline on a bed of seaweed—
wakame, hijiki, nori
while seven stars and a moon
have swirled the saffron of paella
with strawberry shortcake and tarragon
in the soupbowl of horseradish heaven

--Tony Hoffman

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