Fullness and Hunger

Natasha Rao

My father orders the crab croquet
and I am quick to correct
croquette for the white waiter
pouring water coquettishly.
Last summer in England I watched
my brother grip a mallet on the
manicured lawn of his new life
while my parents learned the rules
to this ballet, beaming, and I sipped
gin. My father’s face when he
hit the ball through the wicket.
My father’s face now. The slipped
grin. My father’s face in my face.
I can be wicked, I begin to say, but
it sounds like crickets, it sounds
like nothing at all, though both
our mouths are moving.

Natasha Rao is the author of Latitude, which won the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. She lives in Brooklyn.
Originally published:
June 28, 2021

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