To My American Friend by Maree Reedman

No offence, I couldn’t live in the US. The butter depresses me. It’s so pale. They served Lurpak when I was in San Francisco, which is over here too. I hate it. Danish. What is going on with the cows in America? Are they mad? Should I send you some Australian butter? Western Star is my favourite. Yellow and salty. I wonder if it would get past Customs. Oh, that wouldn’t be any good – it needs to be refrigerated. What butter do you buy? I can’t believe I wrote this much about butter. Do you remember that ad, ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter?’ I used to eat that shit. When I had an eating disorder. Yup. I had the bingeing variety. Starving is no fun, and purging, get outta here. What my sister-in-law thought about the bag of Santa chocolates in her freezer that disappeared in February, I don’t know. One day I found myself sitting on the edge of my mother’s bed, staring at the phone, with an Overeaters Anonymous number in my hand. But I couldn’t call. So I had to learn how to eat normally again. And to like myself. I probably sound like a smoker who crows about how she went cold turkey. See where a discussion about spreads led? To a container at the back of the fridge. Not many people know that about me. Not because I’m keeping it hidden, it’s just something that’s part of my ancient history. It’s like an old suit of armour, standing in the corner.

Maree Reedman lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her cockatiels and husband. Her poetry is published in Rat’s Ass Review, Grieve anthologies, Hecate, StylusLit, and won awards in the Ipswich Poetry Feast.