She tells me she is hungry.
I present my empty hands outstretched
palms up
to show her all that I had to offer.
This isn’t enough for someone
who dry swallows tornadoes
without blinking.

I try to feed her my dreams.
Here is a melting blue guitar.
Here is an ocean in the shape of a house.
Here is a train made out of swingsets.
She devours them. Licks the plate clean.
But she wants more.

I give her half of what’s left of tomorrow.
Most of the morning and some of the afternoon.
She consumes it in one bite.

I give her a few old memories
that are just lying around
and I was going to take
to the thrift store anyway.
She doesn’t like the taste, but
her insatiable appetite
doesn’t allow her to stop.

“I’m sorry,” she says.
“I don’t know how to pour out
all of this empty inside of me.”

I try to fill her with words.
I use my whole vocabulary.
I string them together in long chains.
I smother them with adjectives,
but they don’t have any nutritional value.

Her eyes are two oceans
you need a life vest to look into.
When she reaches for me
I can feel tectonic plates of my chest
quake apart. Take all of it, I tell her.
Tomorrow the earth
will keep spinning no matter
how many times the door closes.


Break/Fast. was part of the SLCC 30/30 competition in 2019. The collection, “This is How Astronomers Look At the Earth,” won first place.  


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