A conveyor belt delivers mutton and fowl.
Hot meringues suffer and collapse
under my ruthless fork.
Fish swim through bubbles of fat to get to me.
Pancakes topple and burn my fingers.
If I keep eating, I won’t think of her.
The memory of her is like oil and vinegar,
years of bitter salad.
There was no juice in her lemon,
so I just kept squeezing.
A man in love is a man on fire,
his burning eyes, hot pools of syrup.
Now I stand alone, naked,
a red-splintered root.
I keep eating to forget her.
I eat things that burn my tongue
because my frozen wife left me
with a stomach full of snow.
Suzanne O’Connell is a poet and social worker living in Los Angeles. Her recently published work can be found in Poet Lore, Forge, Atlanta Review, Juked, Existere, Crack The Spine, The Louisville Review, and Found Poetry Review. O’Connell was nominated for a Best Of The Net Award in 2015, and a Pushcart Prize in 2015 and 2017. Her first poetry collection, A Prayer For Torn Stockings, was published by Garden Oak Press in 2016.
I have never slaughtered a pig.
My hands, though slathered with a sheen
Of melted flesh, are swiftly cleaned
With a simple paper towel.
The cottonwood trees watch. Whisper. A
lyrical business, theirs. Bored by the Wind
River, they turn toward the termite-nibbled
The Pacific begs me to swim away, anything
to keep us from strangling each other
on the boardwalk. The Freakshow
is where our love belongs, a two-headed
oddity feasting on dust and bone
This is how pleasure goes marauding
thinking twenty was happy
thinking faces you won’t believe
wrapped in a smell of hand
When she reeked of distraction, a dozen fools
set out to decant her childhood.
You work with doll pieces and cigar
boxes. Mirrors reflect limbs
suspended on toothpicks.
It’s easy to forget how weird Elvis was, sitting in the Atlanta airport on a Sunday morning, Viva
Las Vegas on every screen,
lined up at the bar with fellow travelers recently notified that alcohol is not for sale until 12:30 this afternoon.
Come chill with me and watch a show
Tonight, whenever, I don't know;
We'll listen to the new J. Cole,
And I will judge your nipple mole
look back, look back
you will be Rorschach
a print of a man
She’s not my aunt by blood,
so I’ve a chance to taste her.