Diya Chaudhuri


Iím in a diner -- musty, table smeared with elbow sweat --
listening to some teens, these boys with their girls
squeezed into a booth, cackling
into the bright sizzle of bacon fat and eggs on butter
about the waitressís thick ankles.
Weak ankles on these girls, though, and elbows sharp
like a marionetteís. I suck a lemon wedge to clear the dust
from my throat. Iíve been turning, lately, into a sawdust doll --
that ravaged, humpbacked derivative
of whatever I handed Daddy with its stuffing hanging out
that he took to his workshed to make right,
scooping wood shavings from the ground. Iím just like that,
and bone dry. One of these girls has a big toe
split like a two-headed snake. And still wearing sandals,
which is admirable. Another way you could put it
is Iím not held together well, like these grits,
which slop off the spoon like pollen-y snot.
Iíve always thought they should hang together, grits,
and bacon should be crisp enough
to use as a spoon. Toast should be garlic-ed, but not soggy,
and coffee strong without bittering up your mouth.
And most everything, minus the coffee, should be sloshed with Tabasco.
But they have green Tabasco here, and whatís that about?

Diya Chaudhuri received her B.A. from Emory University and is currently in the M.F.A. program at the University of Florida. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Harpur Palate, Redivider, Zoland Poetry, elimae, anderbo, and others.

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