Portion Control

Lexi Cary


She told me she craves deep experience. “I want to gorge myself on life,”

She said from behind the syrup-brown fringe of bangs. “Everything sick

and ugly and everything beautiful. I just want to ingest the suffering

Of everything around me.” She leaned back against the vinyl booth seat

At two in the morning, in the Denny’s by the 101 where the menus

Were thrilled to be there but the pictures of the food made me sick.

She told me she wanted to bake a cake out of beauty said in a dreamy stoned voice.

“I just want to whip together all of the wonderful things with insight and ache.”

And a dash of loneliness, I’d figure, for contrast like sea-salt in caramel.

“I want a belly full of words and for sincerity to go straight to my thighs

Until I’m enormous with everything, just everything.”

The waitress supposed my friend’s mother had never taught her

Portion control, but kept bringing her sadness and reality and stories,

Boxes unchecked on forms and broken hearts,

Until we had a bill a mile long and couldn’t write a word.


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