Maria Surricchio

In the Flesh

You’re skinny remarks my brother after two years without
seeing each other

in the flesh: we live on different continents. It’s not 
a compliment.

He’s all the childhood family I have now, parents gone 
in their sixties,

we’re only ten years younger than them when, emaciated, 
they died –

different cancers, the same age. I’m fitter, leaner - that’s all –
 but he reminds me

only in my family can you be too thin. My family who couldn’t 
get enough

of each other. We wanted more: great mounds of fleshy love 
you couldn't get

your arms around, more years to squeeze like dense and rosy 
cheeks, to stuff

our faces - bloat ourselves - the extravagant binge dribbling 
down our chin.

When my father’s heart and blood stopped, then hunger for 
a child filled me

to restore flesh like a transfusion swelling into the empty space, 
the impulse beyond

moderation and decorum, like the impulse to feast on our plump 
babies exceeds

moderation and decorum – craving to consume what we can’t
 bear to lose.

This is the devour you whole kind of flesh, the chew-every- 

kind, the fat left on, the sort where you can’t get 
your fill.

Maria Surricchio is originally from the UK and now lives near Boulder, Colorado. A life-long lover of poetry, she turned to writing in 2020 after a long marketing career. Her work has been published, and is forthcoming, in the I-70 Review and Delta Poetry Review. She has a BA in Modern Languages from Cambridge University and is currently studying at the Hudson Valley Writers Center.