Michelle Bonczek Evory


Put me on a low fat diet: I eat dark chocolate, cream,
and peanut butter pie. I lick my spoon, slide the oily
residue across my tongue. I plan for salad yet slice
sausage, thin disks spaced with jewels of pure fat
that melt on my tongue like clouds. Tell me no carbs:
I bake challah, popovers, and muffins. I steam potatoes,
mash them with cheese. Taste croissants jammed with rods
of chocolate I couldn’t eat enough of in France and Italy,
moons curved on my morning plate. Even other women,
when they’d see me eating one, would gasp! Where did you
get that? they’d ask. To fit into my off-the-rack wedding dress,
I burned thousands of calories each day, ran miles uphill. Now,
a mere one year later, I sip chocolate, butter my toast
till it drips. One is never full. I am not full and, perhaps,
prefer not to be. Tell me to write poems: I Pledge the desk,
even the stapler. I Q-tip between keys. Order me
pregnancy and I drink pots of coffee, bottles of beer,
have sex on off days. Insist I wake early: I read until three.
Insist, instead, I wake late: lights off at 9 PM. I am not
difficult to prefer the day when you offer night.
Prefer night when you give me light. I want it all. The garden
and the summer-long hike up the Pacific Crest Trail. A baby
growing inside me and the marathon. A filet mignon
and vegan thighs. I dare you: pull out my feathers. I’ll fly.

Michelle Bonczek Evory

is the author of The Art of the Nipple (Orange Monkey Publishing), Before Fort Clatsop (Finishing Line Press), and the Open SUNY Textbook Naming the Unnamable: An Approach to Poetry for New Generations. She teaches writing and literature in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and mentors poets at The Poet’s Billow.