This Is What Happens When You Eat Too Many Poppy Seeds


My mother and I went to the market square last Tuesday. She was excited about the desserts and told me she would buy a “treat.” I nodded and went to go order lunch. She was wearing a bright red trench coat and velvet pumps, slinking past the fridges filled with chicken guts.

Delilah was talking on the phone in Arabic, washing dishes between rubber gloves. Her hair was pushed onto the top of her head like a crown made out of nests. Delilah does everything at “Delilah’s Kitchen.” Once I asked her how she made the dressing and she literally cackled before telling me it was a secret. I ordered the same thing I’ve been ordering for seven years but we both behaved as though a freak improbability would altercate our business.

My mother was examining poppy seed bread when I rejoined. I was shocked by her selection. From far away, I’d imagined her holding a ten-pound bag of apricots. She was panicked by my surprise and asked if I was okay. The giant loaf swayed before me like a pendulum, draped from the blonde lady’s grasp. I watched the black vortex gliding back and forth across the air. I realized I’d never actually tried makowiec before. I corrected what had initially seemed like aversion and offered her my concurrence.

Tomorrow will be the one-week anniversary of this day. My gut has been performing the most erratic contractions. My shit feels like sand. It’s yellow. There are sounds, ridiculous sounds, in accompaniment. Honestly I am confounded by what horrors the human body is capable of. My thoughts frequently return to the chance of an allergy or at least, objective human threshold. If I had to estimate the total amount of poppy seeds I ingested over the past six days I’d guess six hundred grams, give or take.

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