Ode to a Former Love

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

By Claire Pickard

The balmy tingle of your skin grazing mine is enough to send chills all down my arm. The hard, brown ridges of your back dig into my palm, and as my lips draw closer to you, I can sense your smoky presence. The raw desire between us is palpable. Your scent, caressing me, tempting me, floats around you—an aura that fills the room and leaves everyone wanting you long after you’re gone. Nearer. Nearer still. One achingly long moment of untethered anticipation and suddenly you’re there, brushing my mouth, moving forward with all the intensity that I expect and crave. The honeyed softness of your embrace turns more frantic, and I taste every inch of you. Deeper. I’m consuming you, devouring your flesh, and you allow me, the salmon pillows of my lips never leaving your skin. More. Faster. Then, nothing. The moment has passed. I am satiated, and you are used up, another byproduct of my lust for life. The empty bag stares back at me. Your former home, two thin sheets of plastic and a gash of red letters, is now your mausoleum. “SMOKED GOUDA.” The words mock my loss, but I can’t miss you yet. I still hear your siren song, even as the chortles of my stomach acid slowly drown it out.

Tomorrow, I’ll go to the grocery store.

FROM CLAIRE PICKARD: In writing this story, I wanted to explore Americans’ cultural relationship with food. The fetishization of certain food items and taboos on others directly connects to our perceptions of our own bodies. We put nutrition on a pedestal akin to– and in many cases, closely connected to– sex. This story, a mixed breed of erotica and recipe blogging, offers a postmodern critique of that relationship.

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