Creative: A Last Supper

Stephanie Couey

my tiniest apology
Stephanie Couey is a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her work is on Multiethnic Contemporary Women’s Literatures of the United States, and her dissertation examines race, gender, and national identity within works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry that centralize food, hunger, and the body. She previously received her MFA in Poetry, also from CU Boulder, and she teaches undergraduate courses in Literature and Creative Writing.


my tiniest apology

if I could have made you your last supper
it would have been
the reddest slaughter, a halting
ritual of bones, a bound and roasted
lamb on a sea-brined bed of greens
there would have been
a quieting side
of creamed potatoes
all biting hot and familiar
like a coming-of-age novel

                  but would you have even accepted
this shrine of abundance, my last offering,
or would it have been just another
blister for you to swallow?

what matters now
is what remains – of you
– your dad
in your apartment, all empty
your cabinets all empty
bookcases and I can feel you
getting mad at me
for simplifying
your relationship to grace
my inanity for equating
salvation with satiety
but I have to imagine

a final moment of moments
where you allow yourself
against yourself, and your insistent ache
to share in the private yet common
truth of, the simple fact of,
a right-made custard and a honeyed éclair
with slabs of pear and fig and all the earth
you had to leave

I hope you’ll accept just this:
my tiniest apology,
so sincere, fugitive, and sweet

[for Shawn Collins, 1989–2021]


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Food Studies: Matter, Meaning, Movement Copyright © 2022 by Stephanie Couey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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