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Issue 6 / Fiction / Heather Palmer
Issue 6
Fiction

Heather Palmer
Consumptive

The trouble is how to eat yourself.

What I’ve learned is hunger is a thing moving, not just growing, but really moving. If a stomach gets hungry it shrinks into itself. This means the less of me. In theory, Simone Weil’s reconnection between God and God starts with the subtraction
of I. This seems logical to me, except I don’t know if that would actually erase the hunger of me unless I died, which is what she did, which would refute the entire point. I do not believe
death to be the only end of hunger. I search out another way. Jainists propose the opposite: death is its own hunger, causing more death, causing more hunger, so to avoid both, don’t kill and therefore, don’t hunger. I disagree. Death is inherent
in life: life means deaths repeatedly: hunger in life is not answered by death. Cannibalism is the temporary fulfillment of one human hunger by swallowing another’s. That’s substitution
I’ve already tried.

Stuck.

Leaning across D’s kitchen counter, she brews a tea of lemongrass and rosebuds. Calls me over. I haven’t yet discussed with her my newfound hunger but my guess is she’s already aware of the situation. She has mirrors. She looks through the reflection until we see in each other what we haven’t seen in ourselves.