empty

you cook for yourself, and
eat what you make. you used
to finish it even if
you had to force yourself
past the point of fullness
or risk gifting the fridge
with yet another container
of instantly suspicious leftovers.

but yesterday when
the French Toast had been made,
and mostly eaten, and you
realized you had stopped
eating because
you were no longer hungry,
you didn’t eat the rest.
you got up and threw
the rest away, despite the
voices in your head saying
wasteful
children are starving in China
you spent good money
for those eggs, that bread,
those sausages.

you remember sitting
at the dining room table
as a child, for hours upon
hours, stubbornly refusing
to eat the food your mother
had slaved over a hot stove
to prepare. you don’t
remember if you actually
ended up eating it,
or if she gave in and sent you
to bed without any other supper
than what you had
already eaten.

you probably drank the milk.
(there was always milk.)

you wonder at the expression
about eyes being bigger than
the stomach. first of all,
how is that even possible.
your stomach is quite
sizable. secondly, after all
these years of cooking
and eating, wouldn’t you know
by now how much is enough,
and how much is far
too much? it’s as if
those years of being forced
to eat food that was not
what you wanted, being shamed
and mocked for the food
you wanted, taught you that
there’s never enough, that
only too much is correct.
just in case. better than
not enough.

it doesn’t stop you from
feeling empty.

those noodles

they’re amazing. so
good. and yet, in
the end, he still left.
he loved her, and
she did everything
right. but
she didn’t seem
to need him anymore.

he didn’t see
the way she looked up
as if missing him already,
as if she sensed the
finality in the deliberate way
he walked out the door. and
she didn’t see
the way he smiled
with pride and eyed
the line of customers
waiting outside
the newly revamped
noodle shop, which
somehow became
famous mere moments
after serving her first
customer.

he told himself
she’d be fine
without him.
she had her
childhood friend
to look after her,
and her shop to run
and her boy to
take care of.

so he hit the road.
with no reason
to mentor her,
no excuse to be
near her, it was
the last thing
he knew how to do.