Hunger—The Witch has a Purpose by Liz Kay


I was born hungry, choking on dirt,
and when I opened my mouth to scream
the villagers were afraid. They lashed
me in a shroud, shoved bricks
into my mouth, and tried to smother me
in a pit full of corpses.

What about my hunger
terrifies? I gnash my teeth, swallow
bits of stone, suck mortar like marrow
from their bones. There is nothing
I can’t devour. I came here to consume
and be consumed.

Liz Kay is a founding editor of Spark Wheel Press and the journal burntdistrict. Her poems have recently appeared in such journals as Beloit Poetry Journal, Willow Springs, and RHINO. Her chapbook, Something to Help Me Sleep, is available from {dancing girl press}.

When asked about her strangest craving, she responded, “Babies. I want to inhale them, to slurp their cheeks, put their toes in my mouth. I don’t (anymore) because my children are too old for this sort of thing and they smell like boys now. Also, other parents seem uncomfortable letting me hold their infants. I can’t imagine why.”

Back to Issue 4: Hungry Things

One Response to Hunger—The Witch has a Purpose by Liz Kay

  1. I love the bio almost as much as I love the poem.

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