ONE POEM – Susan Calvillo

Photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash

things I pretend to eat

goat cheese cannoli with garden gem tomatoes & a floral salad
a hot croquette with apple compote, pumpernickel, & sherbet
blackberry compote on a throne of chocolate mousse
a slice of seasonal pumpkin spice cake
all go to waste


I push them around my plate like a teenager refusing vegetables
to give the impression of having delighted in them
I don’t want to offend the chef
or the company I keep
we’ve crossed state lines
we’ve changed seasons
we’ve traded secrets
to sit at this table


so I pretend I’m not in my first trimester with twins
I pretend morning sickness only happens
in the morning
and I desperately clutch
my fizzy water
till the 15 courses
are done

Susan Calvillo is a Chinese/Mexican-American mother of 2020 twins and the author of Excerpts From My Grocery List (Beard of Bees). Her writing can be found in Zyzzyva, New American Writing, West Wind Review, Nightmare Magazine, Eye to the Telescope, and other charming magazines. Keep reading at susancalvillo.com Follow on TikTok @thatbeardlessbard Or simply watch her eat cake and plant cacti on Instagram @susan_calvillo

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