The Student Literary Journal of Vermont State University

eat your teeth first

no, swallow
with amaretto and coke,
no chewing.
tongs are best
for taking out tongues:
sauté with butter
and steak sauce;
dice thin with a bread knife.
slice your fingers off
at the knuckles;
use your toes
to dip them in relish,
mayonnaise, horseradish.
keep your feet
(not meaty enough)
as hands to feel fresh laundry,
stalks of grass,
the cool glass
of your reflection.
your mom will pound
on your bedroom door
as you’re carving the fat
from your ankles,
your thighs—
sneaking in a bite
before dinner.

the cheer squad

july is snapping hot around our thighs
like a hairband constricting,
squeezing against the bowstring
of our bodies.

we buzz, hive-mind,
our ponytails limp
with sunstroke ;

our bubblegum lips
pop around the latest slab of gossip
that we carve with steak knives
and eat
with our fingers.

EMMA SLOAN is a Canadian poet, journalist, and essayist with 100+ works across 10+ publications. Her writing has previously featured in publications including the Huffington Post, Sonder Midwest, The Good Men Project, Enizagam Literary Journal, and This Side of West.