on tonight’s eight-course meal –
dishes personally handpicked
from your most diminishing moments,
guaranteed to sate your taste for pain.
Your appetizer is absence.
It is a taste you know so well,
something you can pull from memory.
Your father was never around
and never got to see you blossom into a lady.
Absence was the first lesson you learned,
the first taste you got familiar with
as you sucked it from your mom’s tit.
There’s is nothing people can tell you
that you don’t already know
about people failing to show up –
it’s the salt you sprinkle on every wound.
The next course is guaranteed to make you
ask for more.
Here, your insecurities were added as garnish –
the little something that could make any dish
taste like euphoria.
One bite and you’ll dance to everyone’s tune,
by pleasing your audience.
This is the only thing you need
to validate your existence.
I can see how much you like it –
the tingle of adulation creeping into the fissures
of your mouth.
I can see that as soon as the taste leaves your tongue
you can feel your throat aching.
You ache to be more.
Notice the greens of this dish and remember
how you used to feel green with envy
because someone always had the things,
which you’ve always found yourself to be completely
You were never enough.
You always had to be more.
You always had to be best.
You always had to prove yourself.
You always had to be something.
Your existence became more and more frail
as you let your self-esteem hang by a thread
even as you knew your envy weighed them down.
You couldn’t understand why they were heavy.
And yet, you continued to fatten them up, every night
by feeding them their favorite lies
and tucking them under your blanket
so they can rest easy while you lose sleep.
Dead deams are savory.
And that is how the next dish will be,
filled with the moments where you
hid your smile, secretly savoring that,
which your heart desires.
Nothing tastes better than dreams not realized,
possibilities that lived and died as just that –
You nurtured each wanting like it were your last.
But when the moment of truth came,
you held on to it tightly instead of letting it fly.
You crippled its wings because you feared
you’d be stuck flying low…
or that you’d never fly at all.
Wasted dreams aren’t sweet
but they are memorable.
You’ll take the memory of the taste with you
down to your last seconds on earth,
down to your grave –
the memory of it shall feed the worms
and nurture the earth.
Regrets when served with spirits
are easier to scarf down.
Make you sure you pair this with the best wine.
You should have taken the job.
You should have said something.
You should have asked him to stay.
You should have done that shit when you had the chance.
You should have done that shit.
You should have.
Funny, the more you repeat the lines,
the more you enhance regret’s flavor.
This rack of broiled rejection
is unique from anything else in the world.
It’s the only rejection you can swallow
without hurting yourself too much.
The eyes that stared at you
judging you worthless
have been crushed into powder.
Just a mere seasoning,
just a tinge,
just a few seconds,
just a twirl on your tongue,
but enough to make you wonder
why you think you’ve had it before.
has always been regarded
as a side dish to something else –
the strong flavor needed to add edge,
the muted taste dulling the sense overdrive.
But here, loneliness stands on its own.
It’s not served with sadness or anger.
It’s not offered as a consolation prize
but as a reward.
Taste the loneliness
and feel its coldness spread
towards the tip of your toes,
feel it manifest into something else
into a type of fear that screams
you will be forever alone
because you are unworthy of love.
This is why no one is brave enough to offer this dish.
No one is brave enough to take a bite out of it.
The words you left unsaid,
well it’s the ultimate dish.
And while most will offer it
as a prelude
or broken dreams,
we offer it as the dessert.
The words you left unsaid
should haunt you,
should exist as ghosts
dangling at the edges of your teeth
ready to be tasted
the moment you are tempted to speak.
The words you left unsaid
should be the last thing on your mind
before you close your eyes
and the first thought you have
before you face the day.
on tonight’s eight-course meal
guaranteed to make you bleed
and remember the last time you felt alive…
Worry not if there will still be leftovers.
We will always have more.
We will always have enough
to reel you in
and have you dining
until your bones get cold.