Food Porn - 'Tomatotittes'

We trek and slip-trance into the night. Me, hung over from a breakup with a girl who collected butterflies and Gothic art, and Munch, still looking for the perfectly human man, one who could rectify bad body image, make one forget the cheek holes, the mismatched eyes. Munch, still weighted down with the ghost of the father who had too many hands and sour puns, has learned to take small elegant mouthfuls at the dinner table where silence is the main course. Choking on it is strictly forbidden. In our apartment with mirrors that never see us as we want to be seen, a Play Station thrown in for distraction, and a little mechanical dog with a broken bark, Munch poses, practices the sleekest dance steps in an effort to attract Mr. Fix-Me. He wants to prove that he is both bone and amenable soul, not simply the android he feels himself to be. Last month was the third time I found Munch swinging in a failed noose. The ceiling is beginning to crack. (Around here, we imagine death as the curves of a loose busty woman who keeps getting homeless.)

At Club Post-Berlin, while I glide over my shadows, toe-heel- toe over my slinky solipsists, Munch finds the perfect human, dances face to face until his cheeks are purple in a flash of light. I rush over to the bartender with alien-shaped ears, I mean, pointy or put-on, and order another gin and whatchamacallit. By 5 a.m., the time on any planet, I’ve lost Munch. Figured he went home with the perfect man so he can get reexamined and reassembled. By late afternoon, my phone is still not ringing. I can’t leave Munch alone too long with a stranger, not with all those phobias involving wrong angles and obsessions over tangents. I’m calling his cell and feeling wasted in mirrors. In a groggy voice, scratchy at times, he calls back. He says he’s too weak to move. But I get the address.

In the hotel room, five stories up in the lower intestines of the city, Munch answers the door. He is shaken, blue-bruised, blood stains on his shirt. The stranger is gone. I place my jacket over him, coddle him, ask what happened, as if I couldn’t guess, and say that it’s going to be alright. I know, he says, pressing his face against my chest. And the funny thing is, he says, coughing and catching breath, for a moment, I thought he might be the one. He took all my money.

Outside, we make our way through the commuter rush, through inner section of inner city, past the curious stares of stragglers and left-over drunks. Everybody is moving. Nobody talks. Everyone must catch the right train. Nobody’s on time. Dinner will be cold or not there. Who can read these schedules? Everybody must be hungry by now. Everyone is eating their words.


Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey. He has been published in Elimae, Smokelong Quarterly, This Zine Will Change Your Life, Blaze Vox, Matchbook, and elsewhere. His latest collections of poetry/prose is Future Wars from Another New Calligraphy and Split Brain on Amazon Kindle. He loves ’50s Sci-Fi movies,  manga comics, and pre-punk garage bands of the ’60s. For more, read his blog.

Photo Illustration by Nadine Kelly

Thursday, April 27th 2017