BY MARIA PINTO
Why Want Me for a Host
Men like to steal the bread
I bake from where it’s swaddled on the sill,
then move into my attic room and not pay rent.
The same always, I melt into the cellar,
though I know it’s wrong to haunt
the subterrain of one’s own home.
They sit me at the table, fix me like a
dolly, watch as I break expired bread to
To chew it keeps me quiet for days.
I did this; watched as grey dust
from the far corners of my childhood room
arranged itself into a bed.
Now bed cannot be budged from the foyer.
They told me they were doing
me a solid.
I did this:
let a home make me.
Am I a house or am I meat?
My mouth has got its roof
my throat’s a laundry shoot
they couldn’t find my gut on this blueprint but
their eyes roll like slugs over my
pelvic killing floor.
As kids we’re told that if we swallow
seeds, we’ll turn to greenhouse,
trees sprouting from our holes,
roots slithered down through the soles
of our feet to the earth’s
cores. We girls pretend this
is the worst hurt we can fathom.
Maria Pinto was born in Jamaica and grew up in South Florida. Her work has appeared or will appear in FriGG, Necessary Fiction, Word Riot, Pinball, and The Butter, among others. She was an Ivan Gold Fellow at the Writers' Room of Boston, in the city where she reads for FLAPPERHOUSE and does karaoke. Her debut novel is in search of a home. She's working on the next.