Mary Crockett Hill


I tell my husband I would eat him
if he was already dead and I was starving
on some remote island without Kroger or canned food.
I would eat the dogs, I say, I would eat
my mother, whom I love most in the world.
I’d cut off unessential parts of my flesh
and cake the wounds with mud.
I am smiling when I tell him
I might even eat a stranger.


He says I’m obsessed and he wishes
I would talk about something else.
That’s the way it is in marriage.
You want to think your body
isn’t a gift, a glass of water on the window sill
drinking its own light. You want to be separate somehow
from the room you live in, the town with its small eyes
and varicose veins.


All day I have almost seen spiders
dart in and out of my periphery.
And finally, tossing greasy turkey parts to the dogs,
a granddaddy long legs
scales the white wall of my corning ware dish,
takes a bit of gizzard in its mouth
and retreats. I had always heard spiders
eat only other bugs, preferably still alive.
My husband tells me he doesn’t think
the granddaddy long leg is really a spider.
I hear what I want to hear:

                                                none of us
live in our bodies, doing what’s expected
of someone with our number of legs.


I am not a daughter, a worker, a wife. I am not from this country.
Though I wear the countenance of a citizen,
my countenance is not edible, and therefore worth less than my body.


My raw, soft body.
Tender body.

Mary Crockett Hill
“Obsessed” appeared in Crab Creek Review, Vol. 12, No. 1, Spring 1998, and If You Return Home with Food (Bluestem Press, 1999).