This is the Latest

Lobster in the bathtub. Christmas Eve.
Scrub the tub first. Hand off cleanser.
Rinse well. We don’t want Comet
in our lobster.
He’s clicking
against the porcelain. Everyone leery
              of going to the bathroom.

Bubbles had risen when we lowered him in,
now he’s limp.
Stare into the water
that wears a similar gooseflesh.
The lobster is dispatched.

                      *     *     *

Wrapping an oversized box
(a coffee maker),
can’t find a swathe of paper big enough.
Start to cobble bits together
with tape (ah—chitinous)

and the joints look like repeated segments
of a carapace.
A pilot blue glows. Haemocyanin—
a blood based in copper not iron

while the broth of something Provençal
sings from the pot, a little tomatoey,
a little stigma (not stamen) of crocus sativus
under the Star of

                      *     *     *

If the universe is—this is the latest—
bouncing between inflation
and shrinkage, as if on a trillion-year
pendulum, why wouldn’t
an infant’s sobbing, on the exhale,
have a prosody
as on the inhale have the chemistry
of tears and seas

or our bouillabaisse,
a primal soup contain
—besides babbling
and nonspeech and raspberries—
in the briny speech stream

a scuttling underwriter?
More Poems by Ange Mlinko