With Butter and Salt

By Stephen Severino

On Facebook,
she says she loves me
more than popcorn,
Thinks it’s witty and cute,
that others will buy in,
think she’s witty and cute.
My mother buys in–
Echoes the sentiment.

But I’ve seen my wife eat popcorn.

Late at night, she devours
Fiction on her Kindle,
Devours salted bursts
of white from brown.
They ride across her tongue
To be crunched happily
In open-mouthed chomps–
This piece of her day,
The peace of her day.

I’ve seen my mother eat popcorn.

On the reclining part of the couch,
She sits watching a film
Picked by my father,
Who sits on his own reclining
Part of the couch–
The bowl of popcorn
between them,
most obedient of children.

Hand and white,
Hand and white,
Husband and wife,
Husband and wife.
Munch, munching
In time;
Munch, munching
On time.

It’s okay that it isn’t true,
That husband’s and wives
Stop devouring each other,
that we eschew to chew.
But it would be better
if some nights we threw
aside the bag or bowl,
grabbed the other by the hair
with longing, and said,
“Why the fuck am I eating this,
when I should be eating you?”


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