Poem for My Birtday

Originally published April 27, 2013

I have a tendency to word my eats. Four of my undergraduate term papers were about food–well, one was about cannibalism, in which I bit off more than I could chew but then giggled wildly at my tongue-in-cheek humor. I’ve written countless poems about food. I don’t know why. I guess I just find it interesting and don’t know how Instagram works.

Anyways, yesterday was my birthday, and birthdays make me sentimental and reflective, and I wrote a poem. Here it is.

Poem for My Birthday

The gruesome beauty of childhood

does not translate well past the age of twenty-two.

That feeling you got upon finding

an old doll, broken, missing an arm,


the dog bite intricate impression on plastic.

You had called her Princess Falafel

because you liked the sound of it,

and that day, she promoted herself to Queen.


Or when you had to stare at green,

post-nuclear soup for hours, after

the grown-ups said it was split-pea

—the pink ham appalling cubed flesh—


and you refused to eat it

because it reeked of what it was before

and you went to bed hungry

but triumphant for not relenting.


Re-found, broken things won’t cut into you

anymore because you’re biggest prime number you know,

you’ve already bought the replacement,

and you will never be forced to stare it down.


Late April in Texas, the air is like porridge

in hair and mouth and clothes.

You feel so full from breathing,

you won’t have to eat for years.