Spoon Trick (1/30)

I am five when she teaches me the spoon trick
the prized ritual of my family’s women
generations of crazy girls who love crazier men
if you put a spoon in the freezer by the morning it will be cold enough
to press to your eyes to ease swelling
every night I watch her set the table for the meal she will present her husband
that is made of her own body

Hexamer women have always had problems with eating
we apologize to the ground in the same way
we keep ourselves thin
things that were made to feed men were never meant for us anyway

I am eighteen and tired of people asking questions
you are always hungry and I have been looking for a man-shaped gun
silver soldiers line up in the icebox
until I have nothing left to eat with

you pin me to the wall and I confuse love with taxidermy
you give me bouquets of carnations
I know better than to confuse a mercy offering for an apology
you do not know how to keep beautiful things alive

you do not recognize the people you love unless you are standing in their ashes
and my family has always worked in lumber
our most valuable heirlooms are our masochism and flammable women
my friend asks me why I am eating ice cream with a fork

when I finally leave you say I won’t find another
as if predators have ever been hard to find
as if they have not circled this body for centuries
even as I stand in your doorway I am still a resourceful woman
holding a glass mug of tea I can shatter if I have to

I laugh because you are just another boy who plays with matches
who’s house is missing all its cutlery
who will find out that where we steal spoons
we also hide the knives

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