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I'm Not That Hungry After All

I'm Not That Hungry After All

Kathleen Boland

stomachx.png

“What do you want for dinner?” he asks. 

I carve out my stomach and put it on the table between us, bile pluming across the junk mail and car keys. 

“Anything,” I say. 

One hand holds his phone, the other is under his waistband. “I could do Chipotle,” he says without looking up. The glow of the smartphone blues his cheeks.

I lean across the table and cut off my left hand with the car keys. It falls into his lap with a thick thud. “We went there on Tuesday,” I say. 

He thumbs out a text message, keyboard ticking. I have no idea who he’s talking to and I don’t want to guess. So, with a quick pull, I rip off my foot. Its shredded tendons caress his face.


I carve out my stomach and put it on the table between us


“We could get burgers,” he offers. His phone bings and he snorts. A laugh. My torn left ear passes by his still-attached one. 

“We should try something new,” I say.

“What about that taco place off Market Street?” he asks. 

I pull my kidney out of my gaping gut. It splats red-soaked against the ceiling.

“We went there last month when your parents were in town.”

“Oh, right.”

My other kidney splatters near his foot. His hand is still in his pants. The phone bings again and he smiles, again. My body weeps blood all over the laminate floor. 


My other kidney splatters near his foot. His hand is still in his pants.


“There’s that place with the upside-down Coronas, what are those called?” he asks.

“I have no idea,” I say, popping off my toes like bottle caps, the joints bursting across bone. I rain them over his head, their coral-painted nails winking. 

“We just could stay here,” I counter. 

“I don’t want to,” he says, the ticking and binging constant. My right lung is a deflated balloon sliding down his chest. 

I suggest sushi, Shake Shack, tapas, ramen, Jimmy John’s. My arm, my pancreas, my toeless foot, my left lung, my other ear. 


My right lung is a deflated balloon sliding down his chest. 


“Should we just do Chipotle,” he asks, but he’s not asking. His thumb is a dull metronome against the phone, face slack, hand waistbanded. 

Teeth like bleached roaches scatter around my still-leaking stomach on the table. 

“All right,” I say. The sound of my scalp hitting the window above the kitchen sink. 

“Actually, I don’t know if I’m in the mood for a burrito,” he says. 

There’s not much left. Liver and intestine spin around his neck in brown-red loops of slime. A breast hangs like a nippled flag from a cabinet door. My nose snots blood from somewhere under the oven. 

“So, what do you want?” I ask. 

A deep sigh. The hand comes out of his pants and pushes his hair out of his face. The phone goes facedown on the table. There’s so much blood. He looks up and that’s when I know he’s going to say it again, the words that make every couple hungry for more, eventually, and my tongue snakes toward him in a clump of pink-muscled gore. 


Kathleen Boland lives and writes in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A recent graduate of Louisiana State University's MFA program, her fiction has appeared in Tin House's The Open Bar. When not tweeting at @kp_boland, she is at work on a novel. 

Illustrated by Meghan Murphy

 

Father

Father

Nice Twitter

Nice Twitter