Thus I became a heart-eater

by Phoebe Stuckes

I was holding myself like an open flame
at Candlemas, when the doughnut
presented itself: glossy red and obscene.

The same vague heart-shape
of a woman’s face. I ate it
in three bites, in the street, thinking

of Valentine’s Day, how every year
it manages to hurt my feelings. How
when I was young I wanted to be called

Valentine, the bringer of love. How
I used to want a minute black heart tattooed
on my buttock, where only a lover could find it,

and what would be the point of that, now?
Then I swallowed and sucked the sugar
from my fingers, like a disgusting child at a fair.

Phoebe Stuckes

See Phoebe Stuckes reading her poem ‘Thus I became a heart-eater’