the wall of copper gelatin molds--a fish and a bow,
a wreath and a doll. My great-grandmother's hands
guiding my small fingers around the handle of a fork,
helping me press X's into the peanut butter cookies
before whisking the tray of them into the oven.
The aluminum bowls and the sound of eggs being beaten.
My whole body humming with the eggbeater--
its vibration louder than my heartbeat.
Waiting for the cookies, I sat on a yellow stepstool
topped with a yellow padded seat.
At the dining room table, I sat on two thick telephone
books as the food was passed around, and milk
poured from a pitcher shaped like a bunch of grapes.
The rest of the house lacked the warmth I felt
in the places where I filled the hole in my belly,
though my grandmother kept a bowl of ribbon
candy on the coffee table
year round. But it was hard and as much as I sucked,
this candy wouldn't fill my belly quick enough.
And the hole to fill grew larger as I grew--
soon, it was big as one of the seven seas--
a place so vast, pelicans got lost flying over it.
I, myself, became smaller than the hole in me,
and my tiny self sat in a rowboat, having lost an oar,
rowing in circles, pleading with the gray sky to feed
or release me. I wished the rain into triangles of candy corn
and the sea became pink lemonade
until I woke from the illusion one morning,
a belly full of saltwater, swelling and starving.