She is a starving body.
she’s lived this life by herself for so long that
a hand on her back,
a reassuring whisper
are gestures and words she seizes like golden hands offering her starving body rice and greens and meat and sugar,
and she presses her lips to those hands and nibbles away,
with no breaks or pauses because food for loneliness is love,
and nothing is so fulfilling like the warm, just-baked loaves of palms pressed against her empty ceramic hands,
nor the press of glazed skin-to-skin, or a dinner plate of colors and sauces and salts and spices,
but you know what?
Comparisons are all i can make.
strength comes from the bone, the marrow,
and sadness sucks her marrow dry until she’s left with nothing but her hollow bone,
a husk of her past life of honesty and innocence—
“Quick, straight, refreshing”—lies that morph into cancerous sadness,
then sinks a hole in her chest,
petrifies her breath,
leaves her crying to sleep and tying her lips together so that no one hears,
because she’s strong and independent
Love therefore, is not a cornucopia.
Love for her is frost-burned ice cream,
and a sniff of the milk sitting a week too long.
Love is three eggs held in one hand,
Love is a sneeze held back from a cup of flour,
squishy lemons and stinging yogurt,
brown bananas and furry cheese—
“it’ll be okay as long i as take the bad part off, right?”
Memories of the sweet before the sour and bitter,
and knowing a bite too big will upset her stomach,
churning and rolling and bubbling like
“get this shit out of me”
so good but
it hurts im sick it’s…
what the hell is it?
unforgettable like that first gourmet chocolate,
so familiar like the tin-foil drops at the drug store,
yet so different like a virgin imagining sex like
the sweat the whispers the hands the lips the tongue the voice the name—oh fuck yes!—the name!
so she begs for another taste.
but it is, at the same time, so revolting, like sugar cookies with pizza sauce,
mustard on cupcakes—
yet it piques your interest, doesn’t it?—
disagreements and misunderstandings, confusion and neglect, expectations that fell short,
how do you know what she does or doesn’t deserve?
when she doesn’t speak, won’t speak, can’t speak
about the hollowness that eats her alive,
that she masks with a smile her parents and dentists called “killer”—
which means what, exactly?—
chocolates and cakes and pastries and cookies and puddings and—
“as long as i have these, i don’t need anyone.”
It’s like a wish.
As long as I have these, I don’t need anyone. I am alive.
a mantra, a charm, a persuasion:
one chocolate that melts between her lips in soft blooms of strawberry and cocoa—her morning kiss.
celebrating the golden daytime with another chocolate, bathed in bubbly champagne
one last evening kiss that dyes the night to chilled cassis, and in a sleep lulled by bursts of blackcurrant, she dreams on:
someday, weakness will not be a sin.
and love will be a feast.
Loneliness, a distant summer dream.