When I ask my septuagenarian friend if he has ever
been heartbroken, he says it is a young question
Have I ever cracked an egg and found a yolk inside?
Have I watched the sun drop over the river like
I could begin again? Did I throw onions in a buttered
pan and feel hunger pure enough to ruin me? I ask
him to go on but he gets quiet. I am full of young questions.
I keep spare chicken breasts in the freezer now
because who knows. I’m acquiring a taste
for domestic habits. They say smoked paprika
is a bacon flavor substitute and for cross-stitch,
start with floral borders and work up to birds
and explosions. Men’s razors will do just fine
for the privates and they’re half the price. It’s a myth
that you get what you pay for. Ease up on the Crisco,
they say, recommit not the sins of your mother.
Wash your face with hen drippings and the night
sweats of the moon. Sacrifice small mammals
for your softly blooming brain—a squirrel will do
but a possum is better. Get raw like you meant to.
I’m acquiring a taste for being bad and tender. Like
I brake bones for kindling and boil bees for stock. I open
my windows, kick the screens out to let the moths in.
Come land upon my lovely arms. Come
kiss me, fruit bats, badgers, wild boars,
I built this home for you. I made this all for you.
Standing upright on a flat surface, Molly Jean Bennett is 5’4″, which is the average height of the U.S. American female, as well as the median height of the Southern Cassowary, a charming flightless bird. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia and currently lives in New York City, where she works as the assistant to an author. Her essays, poems, and stories have appeared or are forthcoming in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Sou’wester, Word Riot, Bustle, Dilettante Army, The Masters Review and elsewhere. Her chapbook Paper Apartment is forthcoming from Essay Press.