Apr/May 2020 Poetry Special Feature

Through the Stomach

by Emily Burton-Uduwana

Multimedia painting by Janet Bothne

Multimedia painting by Janet Bothne

Through the Stomach

Aren't you hungry?

The words are a love letter—
a serenade of eggs and bacon,
and sometimes those little lemon tarts
from the deli down the street.

Have you eaten yet?

Four words—almost the right ones.
You're building up to it, I know:
I can see it in the oven light,
in traces of flour spilled on the ground.

When I met you—
three years sober, two years past—
you smiled at me over a cup of coffee,
fork raised above a slice of cherry pie.

Isn't food the best substitute?

For alcohol, for love,
for everything that fills you up
and chases away the emptiness,
stomach or soul.


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