poetry// fragility

i break my self in half
like a ripe loaf of bread / the
crack of my spine like the peppery
taste of crumbs in the air as
shattered crust exposes
soft yeasty insides. / i split in two like
a lentil in a black pot / on an old
woman’s stove / like a peanut emerging
from its shell, crushed
underfoot at the baseball game a father
took his daughter to last summer / i shred
myself until flakes fall / until pieces from
my arms and tongue dangle and drop /
like flour from a sift like / corn kernels
gliding down the sides of a young woman’s sharp
/ knife/                  like cheese grated
sharp and quick — the bite of the metal piercing
through yellow and white hues of dairy like
/ flesh /                 i shrink myself/
to swallow my own limbs like stew
/ gulp it down /      like a bowl of gumbo
filé dust the jagged edges of sliced
womanhood / dribble the bits
of me I found beautiful last night
and abominable this morning
down my chin / like mouloukhia
/ like rich pasta sauce /
syrup of dissatisfaction and discontentment
/ Like my favorite snack / like the best meal
i’ll ever feel in my mouth
i binge eat my own round and tender name
and baby food blend my most vicious critic
for consumption. call it soul food.

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