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What Will Eat You by Brittany Terwilliger

Münechild LP
Current Jam : Münechild LP
September 4, 2019
5 poems by Laura Mullen
September 6, 2019


The​​ death-soup​​ sticks to your insides,​​ your dad will say. It’s too ugly, he’ll say.​​ You can’t be there. He doesn’t want​​ the traumatic memory​​ to​​ eat away at​​ you for the rest of your life, the way it will​​ eat away at​​ him. So when he calls to tell you that your mother has​​ finally​​ died,​​ you will be​​ safely​​ at the​​ Texas Roadhouse​​ with friends you’ll never see again.

He wants you to remember her as Christmas pie. “Or​​ those goddamned dryer sheets that​​ used to give​​ you hives,”​​ he’ll say, swallowing tears.​​ The best bits.​​ Remembering​​ the best bits​​ would​​ keep​​ you​​ safe from​​ annihilation.

You will remember. You will remember​​ dirty​​ napkins​​ and​​ margarita salt.​​ Opening and shutting mouths.​​ The​​ shrieks​​ of children​​ who won’t sit down.​​ Your​​ silence​​ after​​ you disconnect the phone​​ and​​ an unfeeling void that should have been filled with​​ pain​​ endured for the sake of love.​​ Staci’s​​ passive face​​ when you​​ shrug​​ as if nothing is wrong,​​ as you​​ ache​​ for one more minute in the club of the untroubled.​​ The safety of​​ your​​ whole,​​ uneaten​​ world.​​ The safety will eat you, bit by bit.​​ 




Brittany Terwilliger is the managing editor of Pithead Chapel and her first novel, The Insatiables, was published by Amberjack Publishing in 2018. Find her  on Twitter @Brttnyblm.