By Maya Lerma


It did not take long, 

not long at all

to learn jealousy 

has a taste

not bitter, 

because bitterness carries a certain pride

an audacity

in its prickliness.


Jealousy is a sickly sort of sweet

that clings to your tongue 

even in its absence.

A dish served to you


by those you most admire.

If you’re good enough 

at hiding 

the way your face curls in disgust

then it’s a poison 

no one 

has to know you indulge in.


Jealousy is a spice

that burns at the tongue


the sort of heat that 


down your spine

scalding your palate

Corroding until

all becomes tasteless


Jealousy is 


at convincing you 

that it serves some purpose,

some means to an end


as it tears down the foundations of all that you are


as it stiches you back into an animal of thoughtless emotion


as your envy turns to hate


Jealousy can convince you

you’d be nothing without it

It is the ultimate hindrance

to creation

and the ultimate outcome 

of creating.