POETRY
The Splintered Root
Suzanne O’Connell

Photo by Lukas Budimaier on Unsplash

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.