a poem for Sundel Bolong

Every object I see makes me hungry
all over again. Don’t make me explain
this emptiness: just feed me
what you have, your moist meats
ripening with age, your root vegetables
dark with soil. I want to be buried
in your leisurely lunches, champagne
brunches, snacks snuck between
munches, dinners devoured, suppers
slurped past midnight. Give me gravy
trains of staple grains, the cookie
that crumbles, the bigger fish
to fry. The big cheese, the bread­
and butter, the bad eggs whose names
you mutter. Pass me the hot potato, hard
nut to crack, the souped up smart cookies
selling themselves like hot cakes. I want
the bun in your oven, the apple of your eye,
one woman’s meat and another’s poison, candy
from a baby, then the baby itself, sweet
toothed and teething on the milk
of human kindness. I want to make a meal
of you, your calves soft like veal, want
to butter you up then see if I feel
any fuller after eating your heart out
from your chest, after making you
my sweet and just desserts.

Image from Sisworo Gautama Putra’s Sundel Bolong (Suzanna), 1981.


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