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from goth waitress




Spent the night
your requests,
              now I feel
like a baby
              who has just crawled out
of my own womb.
              I feel wet
with my own amnion
              is what I mean:
my clone dueling
              the real me
for its apron
              to the death.





Sometimes when
             I’m giving head
I think about foie gras.
             Goose who locks
her jaw around a goo-tube
             gets the grease.
Goose whose beak got taped
             agape on pipe.
In the bedroom
             of the restaurant
everyone is swallowing:
             me my bile, they
the bird, the restaurant
             this decade
of my life. In the playhouse
             of the restaurant
we loop a dinner scene
             with papier-mâché
food. The actors drool
             and molt while I collect
their droppings in a pail.
             In the forest
of the restaurant I gambol
             like a deer
among the chairs, looking
             for a place
to foal my ache.





The epicure collapses
             in a chair. Across
the world, a salmon
             bullets wetly
through the air.
             A farm-to-table
platelet is the figment
             of a world where no one
holds their poultry close
             against the doom.
Like Plath, a flesh
             that mutates
in the oven
             meets your mouth
with not a memory
             of life left
in its bleb. I’m scared
             to find the egg
I’m cracking open
             is my own. I’m halfway
back to utero
             with dread.




I commit a verbicide
             of sorts
each time I fail to voice
             my growing
wound. I’m not your daughter
             though my wide
daughterly face
             is yours for now.
I’m not your mom
             and not the inverse
of your mom.
             The kinematics
of my grin:
             a muscle thickens
in a cheek.
             An ember dies.
This is the civil land
             civility forgot.
Our language
             has no no in it.
No I.






The chophouse hocks    
             its work like luck.
I clock in and get abject.
             Don’t think
affective labor can be quantified
             like calories you’re wolfing
at my trough.    
             My shame is what’s for dinner
as I fawn over    
             a customer in tails.
The thing is, more domestic duties
             wait for me at home,
and strangers still decide
             my wage at work.
Don’t gobble down    
             the dream of meritocracy,
that fallacy where excellence
             meets dividends
and negligence    
             means negligible tips.
There are too many fictions   
             of relationship. There are
too many creatures
             in this myth.






Maggie Millner lives and writes in Central California. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prelude Magazine, TYPO Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, Sonora Review, Two Serious Ladies, and elsewhere.