I Really Don’t Care if Joan of Arc had an Eating Disorder
My doctor says it’s all because of my ancestors adapting
to famine in the Pleistocene era. I tell her I would have died
in the Pleistocene era & I don’t know what I’m doing here.
Today, Julia is teaching me how to eat – I correct
her pronunciation of lettuce and whole. She tells me to avoid
pasta at night. Let’s talk about avocados. Let’s talk
about extra virgin olive oil. About stacks of plates
from the dishwasher, damp and warming the palms.
About electrolytes & iron & how to skin an onion.
You have to break the cycle. You shouldn’t cook
with butter. You need to keep those beautiful teeth.
Julia says there isn’t an Italian word for oatmeal
& insists I am not a disease.
My doctor says animals aren’t any better.
It’s too easy to get a pig to run in circles
or a rat to starve itself.
Yet Here’s a Spot
I am not a hostess. In the kitchen half-shelled lemons drip
on the cutting board, olive oil slicking pans
of chicken skin. Tongues of thinning cucumber. Wet spoons
dipped in sugar.
A spider stalks across the table, needle-legged
& tipping. You’ll be back soon with stacks of canned chickpeas,
avocados & mint. I can’t stop reaching dip my chin
to your neck for a sign.
Soon you’ll stop trying. Wait
& I’ll swell your throat with water. Split & peel
the scales before serving. I’ll scrub salt from my hands
til they crack.
honey thaws on your tongue, snakes
my throat. hands hooking –
strange beds have rarely agreed with me.
think of women without faces
split, thinning to foam.
I know what happens next –
how will you unname this body
Eve Kenneally is a first-year MFA student at the University of Montana. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Wooden Teeth, Ripple, Cutbank (All Accounts and Mixture), The New Old Stock and The Sundial Review.