Race to Consumption
The space between each fry is a salted agony of anticipation. It begins with the passing dance, a fidgeting fumble of golden fried potato stick tossed from hand to hand in attempt to feed before temperature allows tactile tangibility. Greasy grain-prints linger as testimony to failure at making it to mouth. The clock ticks in digits of eons passing. Mimicry of blow-dryer, oral cavity forms circling orgasms, exhales to hurry the steaming prize home. Tentatively testing, teeth pared of lips clip just the tip. Still too soon. The rush of internal steam scalds gums and tongue. Reverting to OCD calming methods, individual fries become building sticks, boards in a make-shift fence to hold taste buds at bay. Mania cannot be contained for long, creeps in from the sides in the form of napkin fans. Soon the succulent morsels and tongue-tempered and slide home in quick succession. What was once an eternity between bites is diminished into a continuous stream of crispy cased carb delights. Indivisible. Indistinguishable. The enjoyment flows, barely divisible by breath. Then it happens, that finite moment that slams like a door. The space between becomes the space that falls at the finish. Box, tray and hands are empty of all residual trace elements of edibleness. Regret builds like bile in the back of your mind as you wish you had hesitated, allowed those brief respites to evolve, unhurried, into a prolonged ration, lasting longer than the five fevered moments of unchewing engorgement that just passed.
A.J. Huffman has published seven solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses. Her eighth solo chapbook, Drippings from a Painted Mind, won the 2013 Two Wolves Chapbook Contest. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and her poetry, fiction, haiku, and photography have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, Kritya, and Offerta Speciale, in which her work appeared in both English and Italian translation. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. www.kindofahurricanepress.com