crust, mint, the other girls watch us pretend we’re not in love.
I am not hungry for another seven-hour dinner, flaking honey-
hued chairs, soft shoes, won’t you take my hand when the
others aren’t looking. Wind inflates the table cloak, there
are butter knives with lord printed on the handles, each
plate bears a feather stamp, I am reminded of my partner, how
she told me I knew more than I let on.
I am aware you adore spice, you’re hungry for the head chef
who gently smirks when you catch her eye. There are crystal
bowls of pink and pearl cantaloupe, canopy poles are coated in
pale grey ribbons, the day is clouded, the lakes are short, we
are so many other than I, who else would ever dare?
Curved like an eyelash, the too-green avocado is stamped with
two words, betray us, and I am hardly breathing, I have a crush on
the salmon, I am drinking bear wine, the left corner of the canopy
contains a smudge of grease. Next come the bones, proof of stock
and boil and heart and pastel tomatoes and fall and fry and stew,
there is soup, there is meat on the stove, there is a thin separation
and a toast.
I wait for the dip that never comes, catch you tugging at ribbons
in the outdoor kitchen, you want to unravel the place where her tongue
and her lungs hold hands, you want to smother me, you want parted
lips and king fish, first fins and tuna tails, fake love and a play about
life, yes you might win her over, and I must stop myself from unlighting
the fires, breaking the lamps, I hide the God silverware, I want to cover
Bothered in the middle of the shift, bored lamb, I replace pepper flakes
with rose confetti but no one minds, I’ll find someone new to pull my wool
I see her, clove in one hand, juggling soup bowls in the other, do I tell her
I’m desperate, do I admit I’m hungry too, do I leave my worship in the pantry?
But she catches my eye and smiles. I slowly take your hand from my hip and
follow her into your house.
Sam Moe (she/her) is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is pursuing a PhD in creative writing at Illinois State University. Her work has appeared in Overheard Lit Mag and Cypress Press. She received an Author Fellowship from Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing in June, 2021.