It was as if what I wanted to kill wasn’t in that skin or the thin blue pulse that jumped under my thumb, but somewhere else, deeper, more secret, a whole lot harder to get at.

—Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

(Latin) adjective-
Fasting, hungry.

A punishment lacking evidence:
when you sliced ever so delicately,
thumbtacks pressed into folds,
you hid elegant patterns
of decorated raw flesh.

Rations were halved
so your body would consume
parts of you.
Your useless maw
leaked acid
into every capillary.

When you laughed,
your stomach whistled
through punctured air holes.
We wore black bathing suits
stitched with yellow tiger
sharks bouncing off our hips.

Yours was hungry,
but perpetually frozen, snapping
at the dangling abdomen
you never truly wanted
to sacrifice.


Originally published in MockingHeart Review.