Brûlée (Haibun)

They know me as the girl who grabs a maple latte and a vanilla creme-filled donut. During this holiday, hearts are shaped from sugary dough, drizzled with red icing and some sickening message. For them, it’s just a commercial thing, but for me, it’s like you’ve died all over again. I cut my thumb chopping onions, and like Plath, I saw that flap of skin. Instead of running to the tap, I guzzled down the drops like a vampire.

Usually a two sugar girl, I heap four teaspoons into my brûlée of tea. The thought of going online to be metaphorically impaled makes me feel violently ill. Misery is outlawed on this day, but that is not possible. With no gun in sight, I am shot down. Night and day, I switch out the buskin for the sock, and so on and so forth. His heart, sticky and fat, still lines the incinerator walls like wallpaper paste.

No rose or perfumed
has ever been given to
me — only foam hearts
and pink fizz gifted only
to facilitate crying.

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