Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

carina sitkus

the three stages of a binge


If the phone rings she may do one of two things: shatter or fly into a rage. So it goes on silent and she goes up to the quietest room in the apartment where the loud neighbor's voice can only slightly be heard. Someone is singing and she can't tell if it is the man's deep voice downstairs, or the woman's deep voice next door.// Earlier in the week she ran 7 miles. Today after last night's binge she took a vacation and curled up on top of the made bed in the quiet room. She wondered if she would always feel half one person half another, someone who feels so stuffed and gross and so hollow, someone who runs at full speed and then lies in bed waiting for the effects of the binge to wear off and for the hunger to come again.//


When I ran I watched Beyonce's Lemonade album and I've never been one to worship Queen Bey, but I may start because I heard poetry and saw it, too. She smiled big as she smashed that car and that smile, you knew, was part pure fury part fierce pride, two halves of a whole. And I thought, I'd love to write something as beautiful as this video. Yes, hail Queen Bey! Like her in that video I am not well, but I look well. It is always important to look well. Not for others, but for yourself. It's not lying. It's survival. You feel how you look, and vice versa. But today I will let myself lie in bed because it's not good to push it.//


She fears she will never write something that calls to mind the most beautiful thing she's ever seen, which is perfect light above perfect ocean, her love in the place she loves, the air cold and salty, where she feels as if she should have been born in a different time, but that time keeps giving way to a future she does not want and where she does not belong. So she crams what she fears will be lost into every poem, hoping the spaghetti will stick against the wall, hoping someone will take interest in the chaos, hoping the words will live or at least mean something to the second person.// Her head feels heavy, there are spiders behind her eyes, webs pushing against her temples from the inside. She will always be sick.// The text from her mom says this: Just finished the Echo test. Took an hour. That test makes me really scared bcuz I feel it measures how much time I have left.// And her daughter thinks, my mother is not immortal. When she is annoying me she is mortal, when she is loving me she is mortal, when she needs me she is mortal, when I need her she is mortal, we are mortal, we are mortal, we are mortal, we are mortal.

Carina Sitkus is a writer from Gettysburg, PA. Her writing has been published in PANK, Hippocampus Magazine, and other places online.