Waste is what I’ve put into my body
along with a monster I had slept beside,
among a morning when my mouth
acted as a napkin and I found I ate
all the things I once loved.
Cool, blue, refrigerated,
and my lips burned
from the coals of old meals.
A Franciscan with his bald globe
allowing God to plug into him directly,
pint for a pint; a leader of a church of poisons.
I’ve seen lesser worshippers
but never more than his patrons: pale
white-fish stomached and rich in Center City,
and who we choose to nourish
with love, or food, or kindness
is who we value. Homilies were texts
from him that said: how dare you message me
during a busy shift? In response
to if he could drive me to the surgical
center in the far Northeast.
At the clinic, a nurse drew my blood
and I didn’t realize I was holding her hand
until I looked at our stitched fingers. She let me keep
my finger snaked around her palm until I was ready to let go.
After, I got a cheesesteak from Steve’s Prince of Steaks
as I waited for an Uber. A form of worship to myself:
love in nutrition, and I ate it on the way home.
Jane-Rebecca Cannarella (she/her) is a writer and editor living in West Philadelphia. She is the editor of HOOT Review and Meow Meow Pow Pow Lit, and a former genre editor at Lunch Ticket. Jane-Rebecca is the author of Better Bones and Marrow, both published by Thirty West Publishing House, The Guessing Game published by BA Press, Thirst & Frost from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, A Practical Almanac for Surviving Inside the Human Body from Bottlecap Press, and Eleven-Hundred forthcoming from Really Serious Literature.