To Be Eaten

To Be Eaten

I
i smell the hospital on his sleeves;
the same ones that stick loosely enough
to hide his recently
fat(ted) arms.

‘it has been a long day for papa’
another has been eaten.

he floats through the doorway
a fleeting apparition
flickering fluorescent by the television.

inside
i know
(young as I may be)
that he is not being eaten,
as the others,
but it can be hard
deciphering a difference
sometimes,
and
yet

when i find those
eyes hidden beneath
layers of time wrinkled flesh,
i only see sun stained Miami beaches
or light sprayed snow tipped mountains in Vermont.

but
long after i have fallen to bed
the walls will watch him
as he sighs into a glass of red
on the couch
the sound bounding
back towards him
liquor singing tightly coiled rhymes
of forgetful bliss.

with long deep breaths
i could maybe even hear his weeping
the heaving of weak(ened) shoulders
the wrinkling of tired eyes
the frustration of vexed muscles
the silent violence of a memory —

he will be sitting that way
until the sun sets
and the pale moon rises
to kiss
the worried
to bed

II

it really was a nineties thing
i guess
there really are bigger, worse,
travesties today. hell
you can’t even walk down the street
without touching cancer
or falling off fiscal cliffs

tell me i deserve this;
this, all the
pain in my heart
god gave me for sinning.
this would make me happy.
as you can see
by my withered xylophone stomached frame
by my landing strip eyelashes
i am a faggot
so,

so, why don’t you give it up?
they already made a quilt
i have already taken all the pills.
there is nothing else to do
but sit
and wonder
and judge and stare
and cluck and whimper
and cry and sing
and wait
for us
to be eaten.

III
‘this will be the last egg cake’
a golden brown disc
is plopped upon
the dinner table,
followed by silence.

my sister and i
tear into feathery flesh
unaware

his Irish immigrant mother baked this cake
as a thank you
she gasped softly into the kneaded dough
she spun denial into the weaved layers
she angrily battered the egg till the color matched her knuckles
she hopefully combed the pantry for what she needed next
and
then
finally
she cried softly against the oven
wondering if she would ever,
could ever
bake
again

IV
anger-regret-apology (repeat)
fills every corner
of every room
in the building of his mind
twirling, spiraling, down staircases
that lead to other entrances of other minds and other bodies.
but he cannot breach these anymore. the bridge must remain drawn at
all times
for fear of flying to close to the sun
Deadalus would be proud.
but even that Architect
could not conjure a
maze brazenly thick
to give him at least a few more years to shed
before his own body finds
and devours him in
cold, infected, dirty blood

V

dear reader:
i sincerely apologize for my inane attempt
to comprehend the horror in
four little

letters, and, thought
i should plainly tell you:
i cannot find meaning in any of this.
i cannot find meaning in this emptiness
i cannot find meaning in this sadness
i cannot find meaning in this aloneness
i cannot find meaning in quilted wishes
i cannot find meaning in tear soaked pillows
i cannot find meaning in dusty picture frames
i cannot find meaning in not having someone to teach me how to skip rocks
or tell me i tried my best
or help me with stupid, trivial things,
like geometry,
and life
i cannot find meaning in being eaten

the truth
is i do not
and will not
understand human immunodeficiency
because those humans supposedly
deficient; they defeat me everday in
quiet absent fury. i know them too well

i know their breath in every chilling breeze
their warmth in every sunlight afternoon and
their beauty
when the Magnolias
finally burst into color

Andres Vaamonde, Age 17, Grade 11, The Fieldston School High School, Gold Key

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