Sometimes I Still Get Hungry

I was on vacation with my family last Thanksgiving. It hit me that next year, my oldest son will be in college. I started to miss him intensely, even though he was in the next room. Having a child ready to leave home makes you feel old very quickly. It’s a strange feeling to both clearly remember being my son’s age, and to realize that I’m older than my parents were when I got married. 

When I was young, I learned
to stare at the ground
when entering a crowded room—

my skin too tender to bear the raking
eyes of men. And because I was beautiful,
I was hungry and gorged on pho

and Olive Garden breadsticks.
No one cares if you stuff your face
when you are young and pretty.

Now I only eat egg whites and almonds
and no one cares to watch me
gobble a blueberry.

When I look in the mirror,
I recognize my eyes—still green
and dark lashed.

But the corners of my mouth
sag when I smile and I tell
the mirror that is not me.

But this face is now my face
and my son will leave
me soon. I miss him

even though he’s downstairs
devouring hummus and pita
and Muscle Milk.

Sometimes I look at my son
and only see the imprint
he burns behind my eyes.

Rachel Mallalieu is an emergency physician and mother of five. She writes poetry in her spare time. Rachel is the author of A History of Resurrection (Alien Buddha Press 2022). Some of her recent poems appear in Nelle, DIALOGIST, West Trestle Review and Rattle. 



2022 Prose Chapbook Winner
This is for the Naming, Dacia Price (an excerpt)
A Conversation with Dacia Price, Maria S. Picone, Managing Editor

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Awake at 2:58 AM Anticipating Eruption, Nathan King
Your Neighbor Your Lover, Sydney Kim
Notes on Grieving Gary, Dylan Smith
Thorns, Armaan Kapur


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Limbo, Cara Waterfall
Frog Prince Flops Under Scrutiny, V.A. Bettencourt
Foodsafe, Jade Liu
Spring 2021, Laura Villareal
Sometimes I Still Get Hungry, Rachel Mallalieu
Lent, Caitlyn Alario
20 Bars for Vitiligo, Alba Delia Hernández
Dinner Sonnet, Mimi Yang


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Eden, Margaret Karmazin
tanggal, Cinnamone Winchester/Sebastiàn Ungco
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The Song of the Hope Seeker, Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad