I sat at the old, wooden table across from him because that’s where he needed me to be. Napkin in my lap, I used it to collect the bits of nail I bit off and wipe the blood from my cuticles.
When his stomach growled I carved out my heart and threw it onto a white plate, let blood pool around the organ. How would you like it cooked, sir?
He likes it rare. I know him well.
When winter came and froze my bones, I cracked my ribs and threw them into a soup. I watched them sink into the bubbling water seconds after each layer of frost melted away. I spiced it with salt from my skin. I grated my arms until it was metal against bone. How warm would you like it, sir? Boiling, I said. I know him well. So I waited. Watched it bubble and pop. I scorched my tongue, deemed it ready, and served it up on the side.
Moons later I began to cough ashes and bile. My hollowed out torso shriveled at the edges. I let the wind blow through, make a home of the cavity, and freeze what was left.
An expiring carcass, I sharpened the cleaver on my jagged teeth. Meat slid right off the bone. What’s your favorite piece of meat, sir? Thigh, I said. I know him well.
Heartless and hollow I sat in a corner. A sack of bones. A xylophone with no marrow. The waiter came up to me, in awe of my self sacrifice, and said, “The things you do for love, right?”
I turned to him, stomach full, and said, “I didn’t do it for love, I did it for me.”
© Leila Chammas, October 26, 2017