My lover snaps a pair of chopsticks in two
And runs them up and down my arms,
Splinters nipping the flesh.
He asks if I’ve ever eaten something alive.
Our waitress wedges a blade into the clamshell,
Pries it open with a hiss,
Exhumes an orange body,
Dangles it by the tail above our heads
Like a lantern bloated with light,
And slams it on the table.
Once, a boy had a seizure at my church.
The congregation dragged him towards the pulpit,
Body flailing, pink foam
Dribbling from his lips.
It was the first time I witnessed a miracle.
The clam flops to the table’s edge on invisible legs,
Leaps onto my lap and burrows.
My lover sifts through my thighs,
Pins the swollen blob to a slab of rice
With strips of nori, wringing out a bubbly sigh.
Our waitress slides the blade and a soy sauce font
Beside it, recommends slivering off piece by piece,
Savor the pulsing on our tongues.
My lover makes a swift incision across the clam’s back
And thrusts the chopsticks inside,
Tongue fluttering along his teeth
With the passion of a street corner pastor.
Flayed innards spill from the gash
Onto the tablecloth in murky rivulets.
My lover scoops up a glob
And shoves it past my pursed lips.
I roll it along my palate,
Grind the grain of a postcard beach,
Kiss the sake cup cradled in his palm.
I was a creature in low tide
Blinded by sandy clouds,
Unaware of the shore,
Or the net cast in my direction.
Jacob Allgeier received his BA in Literature and Creative Writing from Eckerd College, where he was an editor at The Eckerd Review. His essay “Thirst” has been anthologized in Prime Number Magazine Editors’ Selections Volume 3. His work has also appeared in decomP magazinE.