Academic journal article Field

December 29

Academic journal article Field

December 29

Article excerpt

I found myself unable to consume

the scallops after reflection-

their whole lives were

eating and suffocating.

This is much sadder than tortured people-

in extreme pain we leave our bodies

and look down to commit the pain

to memory like studious angels.

The waiter brought me two fortune cookies.

One future was traumatic enough.

I decided to open just one cookie-

the one on my right side.

It said in blue on a thin white strip

You must learn to love yourself.

The cookie was much less sweet

than my psychiatrist.

Earlier that day he said he was proud

that as my tumors grow

my self-loathing seems to shrink.

My teeth made the cookie into blades

that cut my tongue, and I spat it out.

I was seized with a question for Dr. Possick,

but he was on the other coast, fast asleep.

I would have asked

If all of me is the part that's loving

what is left to love?

I was suddenly overwhelmed with certainty

that the second cookie could answer my question.

I imagined the paper as a body-

a second body for me,

baking in a clay oven

half beneath it and half overhead.

I didn't open the cookie though.

I have to grow up at some point-

my imagination can't always be kicking fate

as if it were the floor at a stupid party. …

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