How to Eat
Even when the women feast
their eyes on your tiny waist
and start to chew on your weight –
Dem not feeding you in foreign?
Since when you and fowl keep malice? –
with the rolls in their bellies
full of laughs and their ears starved
for your response, you cannot
back-talk your elders. You cannot
cry into your plate and hope to become
a stitch in your granny’s tablecloth
or shrink to a grain of rice so they
forget you’re there. Just pretend your mouth is full.
And do not leave any meat on the bones.
Meat is a commodity, they’ll say,
You lucky you can afford it.
by Gizelle Fletcher
Gizelle was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, and studies poetry at the University of Florida. She does not own a cat.