Jake Byrne Literature Poetry


Jake Byrne


I got into inpatient
She smiles bone-dry
Caliper the fat on my hard palate
Her skeleton grimaces
I scrape a little mould off some cheddar with the blunt edge of a butter knife
So happy in uncomplicated ways these days
A sun salutation expels exactly sixteen calories
The goose’s neck is bruised from the cascade of apples down the feeding tube
So happy for her in uncomplicated ways
It is often the ambitious ones
I recovered years ago
Scraping whipped topping off my nonfat dairy dessert
No one should ever be that thin
My aunt says
In a way that’s not exactly benign
I’m at my highest weight ever
I hope this isn’t triggering for you she says
It’s all I think about she says
No, no, smiling
Your fridge is beautiful                        Atomic
I scrape vestiges of buttercream out of my mouth into the wastebin
I smile the colour of orange pekoe sweetened with saccharine
I scrape the back of my throat with a buttered knife
The vomit is decadent              It circles the drain


Jake Byrne headshotJake Byrne is an alumnus of Concordia University, where he served as the editor-in-chief for Soliloquies Anthology from 2016 to 2017 and won the Irving Layton Prize in Poetry. In 2017, he was a participant in the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity’s Writing Studio program. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in PRISM international, Lambda Literary’s Poetry Spotlight, The Puritan, Plenitude, BAD NUDES, and Poetry is Dead. He lives and writes in Montreal, Quebec, on the traditional and unceded territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka people.