By Kiel M. Gregory

I look emaciated, I tell her,
and her expression says she doesn’t know
what that word means.

Thumb to four fingertips to mouth,
I sign eat while shaking my head and say,
No comida suficiente.

She furls her brow with frustrated disinterest.

I’m not eating. Too much stress, I say.

Oh, she replies, and continues swiping upward
through her feed.

This is what it is to be on the only side of understanding,
of one-way desire:
to lose one’s appetite.

Kiel M. Gregory works and studies in Upstate New York. His essays, verse, and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in Paterson Literary Review, Lips, Gandy Dancer, Great Lake Review, Black River Review, and elsewhere.

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