Water

by Mason Nunemaker

I drink water
to stay hydrated,
ward off hunger.

I’m trying not to eat
so much. Trying
to trick my body
into thinking it’s full.

My body is an empty
pantry, cobwebs where 
the food should be.

My grandfather’s brain
is a large, empty house
with all the pipes burst.

When he opens his mouth
it is unintelligible.
He only speaks
in water stains.

How easily our bodies
betray us. His mind
withering the way
my body won’t.

He can’t remember
my name anymore.

I can’t remember
the last time I ate
without feeling guilty.

Maybe if I inherit the rotting
floorboards, his waterlogged
mind, I will be one 
cohesive thing.


Mason Nunemaker is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, where he received a B.A. in English with an emphasis in poetry writing. He represented his school twice on the national stage at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI). His work has been featured in The Miscreant, Goliath Magazine, A Quiet Courage, The Tower Arts and Literary Magazine, and on the Indiefeed Performance Poetry Podcast. He lives and writes in Minneapolis, Minnesota.