What would I eat for my last meal…

There are two kinds of last meals that one may enjoy;

the first last meal is of the judicially condemned

(but that doesn’t happen much in the days of

conscience and the humane treatment of homicidal

sorts – only mass murderers, terrorists and

southerners are afforded this privilege today).

 

The caring province has become an indulgent ritual;

the condemned’s last three, four, five or six requests

of fried chicken, shrimp or catfish (southerners),

fries or rings or deviled eggs (appropriate)

occasionally a pork chop and mashed potatoes

pies, cakes, ├ęclairs, ice cream of all variety

and cherry Pepsi’s – three, four, five or six.

 

The single course final meals are always curious,

such as the strawberries – pints and pints (washed),

or gallons of mint chocolate chip ice cream and spoon;

the bottle of fine wine (obviously in Europe),

or the ingenious convict who ate himself obese

and sued claiming he was too fat to be electrocuted;

failing that he requested plenty and plenty of eggs.

 

Anger or irony are, of course, on the menu as well,

as is a request of a fistful of dirt (or a cup of yogurt),

a frozen pizza eaten uncooked (until electrocution);

the olive (with the pit still in it) for Iowa’s last to hang

to resemble his own Adam’s apple noose slung;

and the smart ass who asked for shit and denied

asked for justice, equality, world peace (also denied).

 

Most murders had already changed the world

(as in, the best world was one without him or her),

but refusing his own, one asked that a pizza be given

to a homeless man (denied), but it was done;

or the repentant fasting of one woman who prayed

and read (the Bible) and listened to oldies all night

(like there wouldn’t be enough of that in hell).

 

The more famous one was, the more infamous

the choice of final food, though for Socrates

hemlock was not his request but was had willingly,

as was Cleopatra’s figs with a side of deadly asp;

and Robert E. Lee has kept alive for weeks

after a stroke with beef broth and brandy –

which is preferable to the others’ finales.

 

In first class on the Titanic you enjoyed salmon

(before becoming food for the same) and rare lamb,

veggies of all sorts and sweets to match as the

band played, and wines with each and every course;

as the Chinese, Greeks and Romans insisted,

providing food for the journey of the afterlife,

while Aztecs fattened their human sacrifices annually.

 

These first last meals, though, most often involve

chickens (always plural) in batter and/or buckets,

though cheeseburgers are a fond and close second;

everything else is regional or, sadly, what their

Mama used to make when they were nourishing

and loving and caring for their baby and the day they

would grow up to kill someone’s else’s baby.

 

The ones that grew up to become famous for us

and eat the second kind of last meal – that of surprise;

diets of those unexpectedly returning to dust,

soups, chowders or salads, for lean and fit lives

or yogurt, granola, even bacon and eggs –

the breakfasts of those who planned to have dinner

but they didn’t even make it to their lunch.

 

If the great wished to be memorable for more

than heroism or intelligence or power or magnetism

then they’d avoid the likes of tuna fish or dry toast,

chefs wouldn’t dine on peanut butter and bananas

the King would have avoided cookies and ice cream

for his breakfast, but the Rebel without a cause

might still have had apple pie and milk.

 

Some second meals should really count as firsts

of the premeditated kind but gone terribly awry;

Hemingway had a steak, potato and red wine,

oh, and a twelve gauge for his dessert, so sad;

Jesus shared his Seder with eleven plus one

sopping wine with bread and insisted that all

do the same in remembrance of him.

 

And that brings us back to the premeditation

of Arc’s holy communion, and a cup of cold water,

poisons and pills, ropes and rivers, dosages and damns;

damn if lead doesn’t kill more than suicide –

and depression bows before malnutrition and war;

light a last smoke readied for paradise city,

after a fine meal and make ready.

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