Bento Body

How do you like your mornings?
Over easy, the night
still running down my neck.
I’ll take that to go.
I am trying to eat myself
into a person who doesn’t have
any questions for water.
Most of the time I just want
to keep my teeth busy and
my hands full of things
I still know the use for.
Knife, salt cellar, bones.
Even before the toast stops sweating
I already can’t stand myself:
the sleepless thighs, the worry stomach.
Don’t touch me there, pass
the hot sauce, please, don’t you see
the home I am building of my flesh.


I’m getting good at peeling lemons
with the butcher knife,
long yellow curls like your curls,
seeds like promises for days.
I swallow them, picture the shade
they won’t make in my belly.
Don’t flatter yourself.
I have put other things in my mouth
I didn’t like the taste of.
You want to know what happened to my body?
Nights happened like moths to a naked spark.
You happened, the sea, words.
If you asked me what you taste like,
I’d say that moment after the blade makes contact
but before blood simmers to the surface.
The secret is to swallow
without expecting hunger to disappear.


I worry about the calorie count of desire.
When my mouth waters with impatience
I focus on counting my tongue
with my teeth,
the way one counts silence.
I cook two sunsets for breakfast,
medium rare,
the horizon a bone I suck
until it’s sharp enough to draw with.
Maybe you will love me better
when my thighs are an eclipse.
Feed me your lies now,
extra crispy with shreds of guilt
dotting the surface.
Faster, just like that,
right on my sunburnt lip.
There is too much or not enough
room in my stomach
for everything we will do to each other.


Photo “Ebi Tempura Bento Box” by Daniel Go modified and used under Creative Commons License.