Still Life with Game, Champagne, and Vegetables

Chiyuma Elliott

If there's a point, it ends
with the quail's head resting
on a bunch of radishes.
Here's champagne: black bottle, gold foil.
Here's a cauliflower the same dull white
as some of the breast feathers.
You're taught not to leave things out like this.
Pathogens will creep up from the skin
in two hours. Taught: the rhythms of a body
breaking down on a table, which, if it's wood,
should be cleaned periodically:
one part bleach to sixteen of water.
There are so many ways to arrange the dead.
This way, and you're meant to feel hungry.