probably yawned
through it all,

the bells,
the saliva,
that shameless display

of need.
And Pavlov’s cat
might have swiveled
its head

and, for all we know, said
“y’know hunger’s a bitch –
it’ll screw up your life.

Now, just look
at me – I haven’t tasted
in years.

My mouth
doesn’t water
for food or for love.

And just feel my tongue,
my sandpaper tongue –
so cool, uneventful,
and dry.

Francine Witte: is a poet, playwright and fiction writer living in New York City. Her flash fiction has appeared in Doorknobs and BodyPaint, in posse review, slow trains literary journals as well as numerous print journals. Her flash fiction chapbook, The Wind Twirls Everything was published by MuscleHead Press, a division of Boneworld Publishing in Russell, NY. Her poetry chapbook, The Magic in the Streets was published by Owl Creek Press as first prize winner of their chapbook contest. She has received three Pushcart Prize nominations. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont, SUNY Binghamton and Vermont College. She teaches English at Norman Thomas High School in mid-town Manhattan. Please visit her website --

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