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Hunger Hurts

The only things in my refrigerator
are two packets of duck sauce
from the last time we ordered Chinese
and a wheezing bottle that
smells of yellow mustard,
but doesn’t have anything left to give.

It’s been this way since you left,
four weeks a famine
preserved at thirty-eight Fahrenheit
and in the middle of each night,
I wake with hunger pangs
gnawing your name into my belly.

I’ll skulk into the kitchen
and stand in my underwear,
my corrugated ribs
gaping at this rectangular
portal of empty light,
this eggshell plastic, these shelves
of bare wire.

Truth is, there seems no point
in an offer of nourishment
to limbs that can’t hold you
to lips that can’t speak to you
to the brittle teeth
in my mouth
that just want to chew on the bones
of a relationship I left out
to spoil.

Maybe if I growl and gurgle
at myself for enough nights
without you,
I might can starve this
hopeless optimistic brain
that still believes

there may come a day
when you will billow back in,
fog from a freezer door.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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