On Flesh

warning: this piece contains sexual references  

Imagine you’re a vegetarian and you meet a man from Italy. His mum likes to roast flesh on a Sunday in ceramic dishes with fruit on them and the smell is disgusting and delicious. It is wrong in the way that falling in love is wrong. It is wrong in the way that you divide yourself in two pieces, one for you, one for him. The thigh is the best bit. He grabs you at the party and you swallow him later on. Whole. Meat. You meet him in the alleyway near the kebab van - hot meat on a spit, skewer. You step over the sewer where the shit swims by. It’s disgusting to be in love in the city in the nighttime. You, a moving body meeting your match for the next chapter. You ate the flesh like compliments, guzzled down and greedy as though no one had ever called you pretty before - not your mum, even, which was a lie.

You won’t pretend you didn’t like it. The flesh turned harder, ribbon like strips, juice. The gravy pales in comparison. Crisping potato. Fat, so much fat on rind and then grinding in some car seat outside a supermarket before buying patties for a burger then burning hands on the grill together. Love is hot and smoky bacon crisps. Not suitable for vegetarians. Teeth marks in the flesh from a night of sweating in a hot and bothered room; meat sweats. You liked to receive heady flushes from the squeezed out sausage skins, stirred into oil, thyme, parmesan, pasta. Delicious to be in love, to eat whatever isn’t the two of you. Nothing else matters but the way your bodies move down, together, a road, pretending that there’s no such thing as danger. The food chain favours you, the sharp toothed lovers on all fours, bent over, picking up the dropped plastic bag of pancetta cubes, ruffling around for the receipt. You receive the pasta from a fork, then him while you fuck in the bedroom of his mums apartment as she cooks up dinner in the room over. A tavola! A delicious new sound in your mouth, delicious mound of meat in between your teeth.

Hearsay whispers that meat stays in your system for many years. Intestines filled with the flesh of some other living thing that was cold in the outside in the winter. You sit, apart from that love and that country, and feel the memory inside the meat in your intestine. Slowly dissipating with bile and burnt grains, butter, bitter cruciferous greens and root vegetables sailing by your innerworkings. They are the remnants of the memories of the ways it felt to be in love. The way it feels to chew up whatever doesn’t matter to you. Two bodies eating other bodies eating one anothers bodies chewing rinds and thighs and cheeks and bellies and pretending that your bodies will not, cannot, do not someday die. Not before their time - underdone, underseasoned, under the covers of a feast, a sight or bite for tearing, smoked sore eyes closed, shining teeth bared, wide open mouth, bright red.

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