Howard Hughes Lived For a Time Among Jars of Piss, Elliott Smith Stabbed Himself Twice in the Chest

I eat less so he’ll love me
more. He does not ask me to do this.
I read messages
people send me.
None of us ever writes
by hand. We send
little messages,
sentiments. It’s okay
because they are sincere.
We all have
inboxes
full of text, we have bank
accounts full of numbers
or not.
I owe someone a letter.
A real one.
I owe Well’s Fargo
thousands of dollars.
I go
to college to pay
for going
to college.

I eat less so he’ll love me
more. He gives me compliments.
He says he loves my ass.
When I’m lying in the bath
alone, the skin on my belly is different
than the skin everywhere else
on my body.
I’ve had four children.
He’s never smashed my head
into the car window, never beat
my eggshell skull
against glass.
He didn’t scream insults
under the suffocating
sublimity of a country sky
at night.
That wasn’t him
but he also didn’t see.
He couldn’t stop it.
He wasn’t there then.
He has only seen every inch
of my naked body.
I don’t know what to say
when he tells me
how beautiful
I am to him.

Some days I eat nothing
at all, which has nothing to do
with him. My stomach burns
and I feel hyper alive.
He loves my children.
I’m afraid he’ll discover
I don’t know what to do
with a good man.

I eat less so he’ll love me
more. He does not ask me to do this.
I once met a man in a bar
who asked me if I am famous.
I once met another man in a bar
who told me he knew
where I’d been
the night before.
He thought I should call him.
He gave me his phone number.

Some days I eat far too much
and never feel full.
He sent me gifts in the mail.
He has a mother
who likes me.
She sent me cookies.
She asked how I am feeling.
He sent me chocolate and tea
and orange split peas.
He sent me a letter
he had written by hand.


2 responses to “Howard Hughes Lived For a Time Among Jars of Piss, Elliott Smith Stabbed Himself Twice in the Chest

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