Fourth Meal

i don’t even like Taco Bell / but here i am, at 3:00 am, idling in the drive-thru / because you called and wanted me to come over and Taco Bell is the only place open for those kind of calls / i want to bring food / food is my love language / an offering / i order, even though I don’t know what you like / three soft tacos and fiesta potatoes and a caramel apple empanada / those are good / but i don’t order any for me / no matter how bad i want crispy sugar shell against my lips / food is my love language, but i won’t eat in front of you / so you won’t notice my burrito-rolled hips

another boy, another Bell / it’s only midnight this time / i tell him i don’t like Taco Bell / he tells me i just haven’t ordered the right thing yet / he orders for us / a brown bag full / hot on the bottom / he hands me the mexican pizza with a smile / i pick off the tomato chunks / i don’t bother with subterfuge and bite down greedily / i’m not hiding, i’m not buying, i’m not leaving fire sauce-smeared offerings and sacrifices / in the hope that you’ll pick me / he and i eat our tiny feast in his car in the parking lot / i wipe a dollop of cheese and lettuce and sour cream off his shirt and his slides his hand down my thigh

Jessica Minyard (she/her) is an author, poet, adjunct, higher ed professional, and new mom. She has an MFA from Lindenwood University and her short fiction and poetry has appeared in Flash Fiction MagazineSlink Chunk PressCapulet MagazineVamp Cat Magazinesalt + vinegar zineNightingale and Sparrow and is forthcoming from Kaleidotrope and Royal Rose. Her poem, “the names they call us,” was recently anthologized in War Crimes Against the Uterus by Wide Eyes Publishing.

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