Air and Ether

By Misha Lazzara

when I attended that candlelit
dinner party serving only

cases of uncorked cabernet
I felt a kinship when

I watched you glow
hollow in pallid amber light

we convalesced, draping ourselves
over the hard, wooden chairs

red wine calories do not count
of course, everyone knows this

I banned only the following items:
meat, dairy, pasta, bread

my diet consisted of only
the fat around my thighs

this menu of air and ether
and alcohol reminded us

of how cliché counting calories
had become

that anything worth saying
was worth repeating

and anything worth eating
wasn’t worth a moment on the lips

even in my dreams, stairwells fill themselves
with warm food, an obstacle course

this you understood, as
your dreams were full of cold bones

you are invited to watch me
eat my heart out

some kind of weightless voyeur
scrutinizing each rib bone

above my opened chest
as I bared my scale for the masses

everyone wants everyone thin
is a world I understand, but

no one wants to watch you
slowly, slowly eyeball a menu with

nothing edible but the spaces
between the words


Misha Lazzara is an MFA candidate at North Carolina State University. Winner of the Academy of American Poets Prize 2020 at NCSU. Misha is the mother to three human children. Worships sun, moon, mountain and wine bottle.