2nd Place Winner in the 2017 Carolina Woman Magazine Writing Contest

a plastic bag in May
waltzing across bare parking lots.
The neighborhood’s tarred up telephone poles
drenched in sepia and creosote
trap famished flies.

Can hunger be strength;
a willful dance
of power, denial, refusal?
Stop your whining
and do your writing instead
of distracting yourself
with cheese sticks and lightly salted peanuts!
Eat and eat. Never be satisfied.
If you don’t eat?
You won’t die—this isn’t The Grapes of Wrath.

You need courage not to give
into buying more Amazon T-shirts,
sustainable striped scarves,
more cookbooks for all the uses
of buttermilk. But yes to more drinking books
about the history of whiskey—
how does the angels’ share
evaporate more drops in Kentucky than Scotland?
Another hour lost to heavy alcohol study.

Hunger locks you into the future,
but also the past. Can’t leave
this place of neither up or down.
Meditate? Contemplate?
Without attention you’ll wither
like those angry grapes. Or starving insects.
You don’t want to eat silence.
You want bacon. Fried, please, with the crispy
ends covered in pimiento cheese.
You know, the homemade kind.