Brittany Leitner

DURING A DIFFICULT TIME, A GIFT OF HEARTWARMING, GOURMET FOOD CAN BE A COMFORT AND A HELP


When you died

I pulled apart fish slices from

Gold paper and ate like

The daughter of a king

Whole slabs rolled into my mouth

Rubbed on my tongue

Smooth as dolphin skin


The pears fit like eggs in

Their plastic cartons

Shoved behind them the card

“With Sympathy” in calligraphy

Calls like an invitation I found

In secret and will not share

With anybody


And then, it is time for the jelly

Finger all the way in

I draw my lips with strawberry

Spread some on a cracker

And make a smear on my neck, blood

Like a child, pretend something

Has gotten me; it's too late


Tucked into the seagrass woven

Gift basket the cheese spread

Is thicker than blood

Smells stronger than family

And I move it around the bread thinking

How many presents came with your loss

All this chocolate and


O God it is so good

To live like this

Brittany Leitner is a poet and journalist based in Brooklyn, NY and originally from San Antonio, Texas. Poems from her first chapbook "23 Emotions" won the Sequestrum new writer award and third place in the Palette Poetry contest in 2018. Her work has been published in No Dear, San Antonio Review, Bustle, Cathexis Northwest Press, and elsewhere.

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