My Love for You, as Consumed

            A piece of chocolate, broken from a bar of Hershey’s. I smear peanut butter upon it, sprinkle sea salt and savor each slow bite as I read, and reread, my first text from you.

Six slices of Claussen sandwich stackers, greedily eaten over the kitchen sink before I vomit on the floor. You google abortion clinics, make an appointment for the next morning.

Cherries, summer sweet, staining my fingertips. I spit the pits at you in the backyard before nearly choking on one as you get down upon one knee and take my left hand.

Tacos in the back of an Uber on our way to the airport for our honeymoon. My mother invited too many people to the wedding she thought would never happen so we barely ate at our own reception. Too busy meeting and greeting.

Pepto bismol, saltines and ginger ale for three months after our honeymoon until we wake one morning, our sheets soaked in blood.

Chinese takeout. Pizza. Platters from the Lebanese place down the street. McDonald’s. Burger King. Wendy’s. You gain 8 pounds. I have lost twenty. While you play Xbox or jam with the guys in the garage or work late, I bury what I should have eaten underneath newspapers in the trash.

Bell’s Oberon. Dewars. Robert Mondavi Merlot. Jack and ginger. Then vodka. Straight. After you tell me to stop. After you tell me I am killing myself. After you tell me I am killing us. Straight vodka looks like water in the Picardie glasses you bought for me for our fifth anniversary.

Frosting, straight from the store-bought tub because I don’t like cake but I love frosting and we are celebrating my first year of sobriety. 

Extra strength Tylenol. Water. No, I do not want the soup your mother keeps begging me to eat. No. Water. Extra strength Tylenol. Water. I have not changed the sheets in two weeks. First, it was because I could still smell your scent, vetiver, and something, something else, something uniquely you. I pretend it’s still there but I know it isn’t. It is forever gone from this world as are you. 

A piece of chocolate, smeared with peanut butter. Sprinkled with sea salt. It tastes like love. I miss you.

This flash was selected for The Flash Feast Anthology by The Molotov Cocktail Summer 2022.

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