hungry // a birthday poem
The day I was born was full of jam,
so sticky and sweet,
my parents couldn’t keep their hands off me.
they sang songs of apples, and we played games to honor
the yellow bricks made for three, and cried
happy tears to bathe a baby face,
while starfish hands caught the glitter and
dough of a mother’s kiss, and a father’s
i ate everything with my heart.
at 13 I stared in the mirror, wondering,
whispering “where does love go?
are you there God
it’s me, Hunger.”
i stuffed my secrets into cotton,
and threw stained t-shirts out the window,
while ironing baby curls until they were flat,
and smelled like fire.
at 22 i painted my chest with
the chest of another—
silk upon marble and sweat
dripping oil into bathwater and stricken
by my humanness,
starving for a love that i read about in books,
that sat in my blood, like a disease.
at 26 i felt the smartest,
my secrets revealed and spilled,
figuring things out and clasping
to the gift of understanding.
how funny to see the numbers,
adorable to find the answers painted on a white sheet
washed out with each year, the love
a blank slate, clean and terrifying
in it’s emptiness.