Jalapeño Poppers

Camille Ferguson

Dad’s been in the kitchen before the sun 

made it to the party, & I woke to the sweet

smell of herbed cream cheese folded

in sausage, laid in a jalapeno bed. 

For a man with fingers like sausages, 

he’s nimble in there, tender

in the soft glow of oven light. 

I see my face reflected 

when he watches guests ingest—

it’s almost impolite, bad manners, how much we care. 

Food is our love language, & we’ve never loved quite

right. I’m never around for this anymore, 

the quiet hours of preparation. I show up

to the party & I’ve missed it. 

Camille Ferguson is a queer poet living in Cleveland, Ohio. Camille recently graduated from Cleveland State University where she received the Neal Chandler Creative Writing Enhancement Award. Her work is published or forthcoming in Okay Donkey, Drunk Monkeys, Flypaper Lit, and Zone 3, among others. Follow her on Twitter @camferg1