Strange to think of home when my stomach begs,
though the belt garroting my waist,
knife-notched to wear tighter,
was meant to quiet it.

Especially here where
the uniform light posts march
down Chicago’s streets—
it’s not Mount Lebanon’s famine

picking all those people to bones,
the photos I’ve seen in books,
how hunger plucks the body
to rib-slats, serrated masts,
hips like empty bowls.

My hunger is dust

or a stray bullet in glass,
the snowflake blown there.
My breath palls but that
is not like hunger
—brief, lifting.

I push a mop to pay rent,
steal mustard packets
to dress bread slices,
and tell myself it’s enough
it’s enough it’s enough.


Photo by Steven Barringer