Valerie Loveland

The Word Pica, Incidentally, Sounds Delicious

(My rule for writing this poem: I could only include things that I have actually eaten)

I tore all four corners off my schoolwork for a snack.
Chewed the suede lining from a leather-work purse.

The same evening, I nibbled white rabbit
fur from a vintage wrap I used for playing dress up.
I’d pinch off a chunk, which separated into individual hairs and coated
my mouth.

Sesame Street muppets gulp foam furniture, ours: less delectable.
I eat the photograph of a roasted turkey on a calendar like a cartoon.
I devour any meal I can draw.

I never consume plastic, I prefer wood buttons.
The sweetest paint peels from the door frame.

I am also a food: my ponytail bitten,
fingernails disappear behind my ragged enamel.

I am perfecting my recipe for bon bon de terres: a chalky cookie
dried in the sun, composed of vegetable oil, a pinch of salt,
and mud.

I pried the gemstones from my costume jewelry, swallowed
them with a glass of water
like I was taking medicine. My stomach glittered
like the inside of a treasure chest.


Valerie Loveland is the author of Reanimated, Somehow (Scrambler Books, 2009). Her poetry has been featured in Dzanc Book’s anthology Best of the Web and the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. She enjoys running, listening to audio poetry and taking open courseware classes. She works as an optician in Action, Massachusetts.

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