my victimhood, my
the she in
at the grocery:
is me, the you
Last guy I dated didn’t go for oil, so I had to let him go.
“Sorry babe,” I said, “but I need more than you can give.”
Back to the sanctum I absconded, itchy with the want of slick.
It makes me sick to sit there in a dully-papered pancake house, the fryer
…………..wafting lard too hot to slop.
In the parking lot the rainbow puddle of petroleum just twists the knife.
That terror when you start unglazing.
Pores you feel unglue like abscessed wounds.
It’s cottonseed, it’s safflower, it’s tallow and a gob of molten ghee.
It’s any such triglyceride. A lipid in a saponaceous thaw.
You start with castor, gastric lube, then onto margarine, emollient, the schmaltz
…………..you spread like frosting in your gills.
You graduate to jet fuel, jerrycans and butanol, the blubber of a whale
…………..you pierce yourself
…………..with one well-greased harpoon.
Back at jelly villa, I kettle all the solids into broth.
I love you, suet couch.
I love you, plastic rug I slathered in an extra-virgin sauce.
Against the buttery saran wrap of my bedspread I massage my moistened hocks.
I think of drilling: all that friction for a single muddy spurt.
I drill myself a sudden bonus goo.
I glide around my gelhouse and forget him.
Maggie Millner’s recent poems appear in the New Yorker, Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. She lives in central Pennsylvania and is a 2019–2020 Stadler Fellow at Bucknell University.