Alan King

The scar in your throat
is a story about the fishbone
that hid itself in a sleeve
of whiting and ketchup.

At 16, your hunger for everything
overwhelmed you, like that summer
at Myrtle Beach -- rotisserie brown women
glazing on Suzuki motorcycles,
cruising the boardwalk.

Watching their toned arms and legs
sprouted from floral bikini tops and
ripped denim shorts, you knew that
your hunger for affection would kill you
quicker than the absence of food.

Your world then was a sumptuous buffet --
your desires laid out like the smoked oysters,
the cheese ball and pickled herring.

You remember the fish and the hook
that scarred it, wondering if the wound
trying to choke you in your sleep
was the prey's last attempt at revenge

before you piled pillows 'til
you slept upright, 'til
chilled Pepto Bismal soothed the scratch
of death in your throat,

the scar gluttony leaves a predator
unaware of how its own hunger
consumes it

Last updated September 27, 2022