Cooking into the Night

by Sarah Lilius

My apocalyptic heart,
how I exercise the muscle—
I season it, pound it like meat,
take it to trashcans on fire
and cook it.

I thought I saw my heart thump
just once, guilt like a weed
burrows down like a small animal.

How I used it: unrequited from
the beginning, then returned—
another heart, his wasn’t looking.
Now I find myself over open flame,
I’m the chef they never ask back.

A homeless man looks my way
with strange wonder as I flip it
high enough to meet the night sky.

I can’t season it with stars,
it’s a cloudy night tainted
with airplane vapor and smog.
I sprinkle with dried remorse
that may have expired.

My tiny drum grows black and crisp,
it’s finally done.


Sarah Lilius lives in Arlington, VA where she’s a poet and an assistant editor for ELJ Publications. Her work has recently appeared in Stirring, Rogue Agent, and Red Savina Review. She is also the author of What Becomes Within (ELJ Publications, 2014). Her website is