Flesh is brief

Sadness is a meal I can eat.

Like pork bones, I wrap my lips around it and suck.

Salty, sweet, but ultimately unsatisfying. I’m left wanting more.

Drop the bone onto the plate with a clatter.

Flesh is brief.

I’ll not go back. I’m done. I’m done.

Ahh, but those sorts of promises are a waste of time.

I’m back again in an hour, hand to scoop.

Grief comes up from the muddy water, a tussle of puha dragging it down.

Such a deep pot. Limitless.

Eat and eat and eat and I know there’ll still be left overs for breakfast.

“Might have bitten off more than I can chew,” I say to my Dad, spitting out a knuckle.

He laughs, even though he’s got no idea what I said because he’s half deaf and he hardly ever wears those 5 thousand dollar hearing aids they gave him because they’re too flash and he thinks none of us can tell when he’s lip reading.

“It’s good to see you eating, kōtiro, you’re too skinny.”

I’m at the pot again and it’s after midnight.

Juice drips down my chin and between my fingers, all the way down to my elbows, wetting my dressing gown on the inside. I want to rage at the unfairness of it all, but I slurp out the marrow instead, to make Dad proud.

“Atta girl,” he says. “E kai.”