We enjoy a woman
Who withers

Her roadkill eyes woozy
Amethyst druzy cunt

Thighs so small
They ignore each other

Share no secrets
It takes practice

To ignore the obsidian
Fist of hunger

It takes an orgy
To eat one cookie

Shrouded in size 22
Spandex I ask

How many egg whites
It would take

How many lunges & crunches
How many skipped lunches

To entice a man
To poke his burly fingers

Into my mouth
Then I find out




In a fat dream
I speak fat speak.
My words are living
erosion, colliding
with furniture,
menacing men
& small dogs.
In a fat dream
I reopen K.’s letters.
I can’t remember
his last name but
I remember the uptight
slanty penmanship
under my index finger,
chubby quill invisibly
crossing out
every clumsy fantasy.
Scarfing chips & sour
cream dip on the floor
& not picking up
when he called, not
knowing how to
accept or combat
the frothy yoke
of a man’s desire.
In a fat dream
I receive reams of dry
& toneless correspondence
that all boil down
to never mind
& julienne my throat.
In a fat dream I fuck
up the welcome home
party for my mother
who is mostly whole,
back from the dead
& wants to know
where we put her
lipstick & receipts
& how come we didn’t
wait for her? She wants
something to eat, hot
& filling, meat-sweet
& all I can offer is
spinster-black cake.
In a fat dream
I fuck no one.
In a fat dream
I drive my car
into other cars
& everything crumples
slowly & brutally
like blood-plump
organs, warm plastic.
I crush & I crush,
fumbling creature
of exterior bulk
& interior bruise.
Vividly, I take up space.
In a fat dream
I devour my own
fat heart, let it beat
wedged & anxious
in the dark
foyer of my body
where my mother
waits for me like
I didn’t wait for her.
In a fat dream
I’m the last to die
& then I don’t die
so much as I curdle,
so much as I render,
crackle & split & slide
off the bone.

NICOLE STEINBERG is the author of Glass Actress (Furniture Press Books, 2017) and Getting Lucky (Spooky Girlfriend Press, 2013), as well as three chapbooks, most recently Clever Little Gang, winner of the 4X4 Furniture Press Chapbook Award. Her work has been featured or reviewed in the New York Times, Newsweek, Flavorwire, Bitch, and Hyperallergic, and her poetry was selected by Penn State’s Pennsylvania Center for the Book for the 2016 Public Poetry Project poster series. She’s the founder of New York’s EARSHOT reading series and she lives in Philadelphia.