trigger warning: food

Slicing and Dicing

by

Lucia Larsen

I can’t stop chopping the waves with the blunt edge of my
panic and scraping the pieces into my mouth, hoping the
sieve set between my teeth will keep out the water, so I
don’t choke from the barrage of it all. but I must swallow

the knife as well, I must swallow the knife so it can keep
slicing up the waves roaring in my stomach. I boil the
metal until it turns to a steam that can pass through me,
a deep tissue massage that leaves me with less limbs

than I started, a phantom body that remembers its
aches only in the most ephemeral way, hovering in
the back of my diced brain, captured on photo paper,
ready to black out my world with the first chemical bath.

they scream at me, the tides come in regardless of the
portion size, regardless of the slicing and dicing of the
waves, but can’t you see? there is nothing bigger than
the ocean. that is how you know you are the universe,

when you can’t sense anything outside of yourself. my
ears must be miles apart to fit all this water, and their
endless churning is the cutting board, subsuming slivers
of peel, juices, and crumbs. do not think I am sleeping,

all you pieces lost between my ears, skimming
the sieve between my teeth, diving into my stomach.
my kitchen knife will churn just as violently, synced to
the waves until they seem still. why are we designed

to find salvation in the most erratic and insubstantial
parts of us? why could I not fit the ocean under a film,
punctured, and locked inside the microwave? why does
it roar between my ears, threatening to swallow me,

if I don’t slice and dice and dice and slice and chop?

Lucia Larsen (she/her) is currently studying for her MSc in Environmental Management at the University of Stirling. Her published work can be viewed at linktr.ee/lucialarsen and she can be found on Twitter @mslucialarsen.