Hunger

by Sarah Huener

You count down days,
count up months,

burn paper
each year to lighten

the next, wear
shirts thin

and then some, try
to wipe the ink

from my skin even
after the tattoo heals.

I open your face
like a pocket watch.

Your insides are lined
with intricate teeth.

Sarah Huener is a poet and musician from North Carolina. She studied poetry at UNC Chapel Hill as an undergraduate, and recently received her MFA in Creative Writing from Boston University. This fall Sarah traveled in Croatia and Israel as a Robert Pinsky Global Fellow. She is working on her first book.

What fascinating, secret stuff can you tell us about “Hunger”?

    “Hunger” began as a way of exploring a character unlike my own, and attempting to understand the different ways we experience and express (or don’t express) desire. This subject was perfect for a small, carefully worked poem. Many of the images are autobiographical, but they served mostly as a starting point for what the poem later became. I particularly like the way this form controls pacing while maintaining “breathing room.” What is essential and what is inessential? What is temporary and what is enduring? I see “Hunger” as one possible way those questions might be approached.
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