Steps for Proper Pickling

  1. Pluck my eyeballs from the bushel of my brain.

  2. Strip the optic nerves from the root & wash them. [Don’t forget to grease your hands, the scent of your cologne could linger on your fingers!]

  3. Combine water, vinegar, sugar, kosher salt, garlic, & oregano in a pan over high heat.

  4. Bring the mixture to a boil.

  5. Remove from the heat & let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.

  6. Pack the organs into jars using tongs.

  7. Pour in the vinegar mixture so they can drown.

  8. Tighten the lid so they can suffocate.

  9. Place in either the refrigerator or in a cupboard; make sure they stare into your kitchen.

  10. Let the contents sit for no more than 24 months.

      11. I want you to:

Let me see you dance
around the island
counter with her
to Selena’s “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom.”
She laughs because cumbia
dance is not part of her
culture. You laugh
after she steps on your toes.

Let me see you breathe
affection into her
mouth with the same tongue that told me
how you only feel love
when you are touched.

Let me see your children
climb up your legs; the one
you said had your nose,
the two with hair like her.

Let me see what I will never have
with you. I am left
to ferment in the vinegar of my lust
so I can swim in your eyes
the moment you give me a look
of hunger; not so you can consume
my pickled love, but for something
to liven her
bleak & bland meals.

12. Enjoy!

Cameron Moreno is a writer of fiction and poetry and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Kentucky University. In 2018, he was recognized as a finalist for SLAB Literary Magazine's Elizabeth R. Curry Poetry Contest as well as the Waasnode Short Fiction Prize at Passages North. His work is featured or forthcoming in Typishly: Online Literary Journal, Passages North and elsewhere. He was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas.