HUSK 1.1

Fifteen Months and I’m Still Not Over It 

by Nicole Chvatal


I tuck a napkin under my chin 

and wear the memory of you  

like a shield against my heart,  

hold a table to my chest to ward off 

this lioness of grief.  

Dinner alone—a banquet 

if I spin it—convinced 

I’m cool enough 

to the touch, microwave safe  

when nuked two to four minutes. 

Grief disguised in split peas  

but inside it’s clear as consommé,  

broth lukewarm, sometimes leaks. 

Top shelf tears count as currencies  

of salt, self-worth in beans.  

The only thing that keeps me  

out of debt is being in  

a little bit of debt.