Valerie Loveland


The mystery of the fatty liver:

Cut down on your drinking
I am a teetotaler
You should stop using aspirin
I never use it
Do you eat a lot of sweets?
Yes! Mystery solved!

One sugarless week later, all my food
simultaneously turned to rotten syrup. Bread
became stale, rubbery. Catsup spoiled
into vinegar and scotch tape, ice cream smelled
like gluey milk. Have they always served hamburgers
between miniature pound cakes? An unforgivable
sandwich: someone dumped in sucrose, sabotaged

my ham with a honey glaze. The unintended sugar
separated and remained in my mouth—glazed my throat
like a donut. I discovered a new confection: fruit.
My first time in the produce section,
the fruit stacked itself in vibrant prisms,
sorted into colored bands like rainbows,
bright and sweet as candy.

Valerie Loveland is the author of Reanimated, Somehow (Scrambler Books, 2009). She works as an optician apprentice in Massachusetts. To see more of her poetry, visit her website at

Current | Archives    Submit | Masthead    Links | Donate   Contact | Sundress