Chase Dimock

Mellified Man

He always has an offering of hard, store bought
cookies arranged on the platter like a mandala.
Nutter Butters on the rim, star points shooting
off into the Formica-lined heavens.

He read somewhere, with all the preservatives 
in our food, the human body takes longer 
to decompose after death. He raises his finger, 
starts a lecture, pointing toward a baby photo 
on the wall as if it were a bar graph in a slide:

        “In the Compendium of Materia Medica
        it is said holy men ate nothing but honey
        before they died, leaving veins and organs
        sugared internally. Their bodies were sealed
        in honey caskets, mellified, opened a century 
        later and used as medicine for broken bones.”

He cracks open an Oreo like a femur,
licks the creme marrow clean, pauses
to feel the frosting embalming his veins,
saves the chocolate disks in the thin
shroud of a napkin. I imagine placing 
them on his eyes just before the mortician
glazes his casket shut.

Chase Dimock lives in Los Angeles and serves as the Managing Editor of As It Ought To Be Magazine. His debut book of poetry, Sentinel Species, was published in 2020 by Stubborn Mule Press. His poems have been published in Waccamaw, New Mexico Review, Faultline, Roanoke Review, and Flyway among others. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois and his scholarship in World Literature and LGBT Studies has appeared in College Literature, Modern American Poetry, The Lambda Literary Review, and several edited anthologies.