A Night in New York
Liquor began to unfrock the men.
Their manicured nails grew sharp
and their lips reddened with
expectation. Breeding belied their urge
to unbeak the ladies masquerading
as virgins, and their faces furred
with hunger when the clouds cleared
and silver urns brimmed with a choice
Ethiopian blend: sacred elephants, acrid air,
baobabs rifled with heat and roasted,
milled and burnished to satisfy
the cravings they’d kept in the stems
of their brains, nubbles brewed in the dark
Pangaea, just before Earth cracked
into continents, was quartered and drawn
into drawing room luxuries: cups cradling coffee
creamed to sweet manfur brown.
They filled their eyes with the décolletage
of the now unhosieried women nibbling
at tiers of pastries with disinterest.
Their cravings got the better of them
that chicory-dark night, carving pockets
in their chests to make room for the mew
and caw of their seemingly flakey prey.
Christina Cook is the author of Lake Effect (Finishing Line Press, 2012). Her most recent work has appeared in New Ohio Review, Crab Orchard Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Cimarron Review, and online at Conte and Cerise Press. She is a contributing editor for Cerise Press and an assistant editor of Inertia Magazine, and works as the senior writer for the president of Dartmouth College.