I found myself unable
To consume the scallops after reflection
Their whole lives were eating and suffocating
This is much sadder than tortured people
In extreme pain we leave our bodies
And look down to commit the pain to memory
Like studious angels
The waiter brought me two fortune cookies
One future was traumatic enough
I decided to open just one cookie
The one on my right side
It said in blue on a thin white strip
You must learn to love yourself

The cookie was much less sweet
Than my psychiatrist
Earlier he said he was proud
That as my tumor grew, Myself loathing seemed to shrink
My teeth made the cookie
Blades that cut my tongue
And I spat it out
I was with a question for doctor yunus
But he was on the other coast fast asleep
I would have asked
“if all of me is the part that’s loving
What’s left to love?”

I was suddenly overwhelmed
With certianity that the second cookie
Could answer my question
I imagined the paper as my body, a second body for me
Baking in a clay oven, half beneath it and half over head
I didn’t open the cookie though
I have to grow at some point, my imagination cannot always be kicking fate
As if it were the floor at a stupid party
But when you decide someone has something to say
Their silence speak to you too
The cookie’s clear wrapper had a rooster painted on it
The lamp’s reflection made it a little sun clutched by the talons deep in the clay
What’s left to love is the part of you that’s already dead

The dead part of me
Is busy preparing heaven for the rest
He envisions it as a dream cemetery
No rabbis, wild flowers and scrub everywhere
Rolling hills with nothing marked
Computer chips clipped to the ears of the dead
So that their loved ones can visit the exact spot
He is unskilled with his hands
But he is moneyed and shouts well
And it’s hard to love people committed to projects
When I tell him he’s abusing the labor
He smiles proudly and says
God can only do good
I can do good and bad