Flan for dinner (or Type II)

Marlena Chertock

Revision

Marlena Chertock

The fireflies are out and he’s cooking flan.
The syrupy smell spreads
up the carpeted stairs. He slides the flan
onto a white plate, drizzles caramel sauce around it.
Sometimes he skips breakfast and lunch,
gets home late and only wants dessert.
All day he cooks pasta with red sauce,
garlic bread, and gelato with mint leaves on top.

His chef hat and apron quickly suffocate him.
At night he jabs a needle into his hardened stomach,
the tiny silver pin inserting more of what his body needs.
“You better feed me Krispy Kreme donuts
on my deathbed. I’ll be eating those,” he tells his wife.

***

It’s 10 p.m., he’s cooking flan.
The syrupy smell spreads
up the carpeted stairs. He slides the flan onto a white plate,
drizzles caramel sauce around it. He leaves the restaurant at 9 or 11 p.m.,
skips lunch and sometimes breakfast, cooks pasta with red sauce,
garlic bread, and gelato with mint leaves on top.

His chef hat and apron quickly suffocate him
inside his arteries and liver. At night he jabs a needle
into his hardened stomach, when he remembers or wants to,
the tiny silver pin inserting more of what his body needs.
“You better feed me Krispy Kreme donuts
on my death bed. I’ll be eating those,” he tells his wife.
She slims slowly, weighing herself every day,
sometimes every four hours, cursing water weight and dinners out.

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