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by Stephanie Alfaia

What my mouth means when it opens
is that I want to eat you whole

To have you, feel you, consummate you
attain and devour all of you –
unlike a refrigerator that feeds off scraps;
rotting leftovers: unchecked items on a list,
remnants of a recipe: shreds of dreams
the world gnawed on but could not swallow.

Well, what do you want in life? my mother asks.
Why don’t you make a list?

Some parts of you overwhelm me,
too hard to come by, too large to grasp,
too complex to fit down my throat
no matter how much I desire and crave you,
how ravenous I am, there are moments
I want to walk away and leave you waiting.

A voracious child’s scream fills the Q and
his sobs are muffled by a swollen leaking breast
my parents say I too was a hungry child
a hollow belly with a sophisticated tongue
the older I become, the more I wish they
fed me contentment instead of ambition for dinner.

She reads aloud, soulmate, three children, success,
chateau, apothecary store, bistro, eco garden, horses,
raises her brows on ‘zip code freedom’,
and whispers, you’re a contradiction.

Do not define my hunger
animals learn to eat without nouns

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