You Left,

and I ate all the sweet potatoes.
I’m sorry. The raspberries,
the honey, that locket

you gave me. They’re gone.
I was so hungry. I ate
the metronome and the black

bear skull we keep on the bookshelf.
I ate the books. I ate the empty
frame on the wall. And our bed—

the mattress that was soaked
in rain when my roof leaked
in Pennsylvania, the throw pillows,

the feathery down—I ate
it all. I was ravenous. I went outside.
Forgive me, but I ate

our lawn furniture. Even
the porch railings, covered in snow
and ice. I ate them whole.

I ate the neighbor’s wind chimes.
I ate her welcome mat. Her dead
cactus. I went inside and watched

the sun filter into the living room
and light our couch up like an altar.
Then I ate it. The sunlight

and the couch. I was so hungry.
I left. I walked into town. I bought
a chicken from the market.

I brought it home and covered
it in butter. I roasted it.
I fried its kidneys in oil

and rosemary. I sautéed
its liver with shallots. I ate
its body slowly. I didn’t

know what to do
with its heart. I sliced it into pieces.
I held them in my hands,

and they were red
against my skin. I baked
them into a pie.

It was a lovely thing. Golden
brown and bulging
at its seams. I didn’t want

to eat it. It was beautiful,
but it tasted too much
like a chicken’s heart. It tasted

like another body inside
my body. It tasted too much
like I had held it in my hands.

Michelle Reed HeadshotMichelle S. Reed is a Michigan native working as a freelance writer and editor in Chicago. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Split Lip Magazine, Prick of the Spindle, The Smoking Poet, and Watershed Review, among others. She completed her MA in English at Bucknell University last spring. She is the founder and editor of Pink Slayer (www.pinkslayer.com), an online feminist magazine. She is usually hungry.