by Zachary Caballero

There is nothing in my stomach and the only thing unusual about this is my surprise at the growling. What meaty emptiness I provide for myself. What myth of fullness I cannot help but cavil against. It’s not that I abstain from consumption, but that I confuse how much force I must use when I am swallowing food and people, so I withdrew my tongue because I still have a hard time choosing. This is nothing new. I am history, repeating itself. Have I said that before?

Whenever I ran out of lunch money, I refused to tell my mother. I feared the things my mouth might say when I tried to tell her I am empty today. Thought hunger could be helped if I kept it to myself, so the boy in me became a king of self-consumption. Craving kept me royal. How majestic must one pretend his breaking is? I eat, sure. I do. But don’t you know I can’t always stop myself?

There is nothing in my stomach, but this stopped being strange. It has become something like familiar, or was it similar? I guess it is both, or either, or neither, or even now as I dive deeper into my belly, I am biting my tongue at all the terrible, even now it is dinner and I am still appalled at all the room left in my mouth. Have I said that before?