For Eight Hours, the Only Place I Can Sit is on the Toilet

Madisen Gummer

I scooped penne ala vodka onto the bride’s plate
and thought if I did the math right, I could
calculate how much I got paid per scoop.

But I didn’t want to do the math. I wanted to eat
the sun going down and all it touched outside
the mansion, but I couldn’t even taste the food I served

and slid off porcelain plates into trash cans
in the kitchen. Here, Diana and I traded languages.
In hers, there is no one named Madisen,

so each time she called, I was reintroduced to myself.
From an untouched bowl brought back, I took
a bite of melting ice cream, thinking I was a scavenger

of love’s leftovers and how I never want to get married –
too many backstage brides in tears, whose faces I don’t remember.
A moth flew around the steel kitchen

and rested on white linen. Diana pointed
at my bowl and said Malteada: not melted or leftover waste,
but milkshake: still sweet, but whole: a separate thing.

Madisen Gummer is a poet from Texas currently living in New York City. She recently received her MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and reads poetry submissions for Pigeon Pages. Her work has previously been published in Space City Underground, Beyond Words, and Persona.

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