Sugar:: Ursa Eyer


My grandmother always sat at the kitchen table.

When I was young I would sit beside her and stare at the plastic contraption she pressed to her fingertips.

It was innocuous, 

but I knew what lay inside was a secret needle waiting to jab out at any moment. 

She often pressed it to her skin more than once, 

and I marveled at the idea that my grandmother’s fingertips must be empty.

That she’d pricked her fingers too many times and there was no blood left.

The day she showed me her feet I grew still. 

The last thing I wanted was to make her feel bad with my unbridled fascination and horror.

 So I pretended it was a normal occurrence, almost boring, for me to see a foot with no toes.

Once, at the kitchen table, I looked up at her and thought,

“There is too much sugar in this body.”

Her sweetness

is a burden 

to be measured

and removed

in pieces.

Dialysis in a storm ravaged city must have been scary,

But my grandmother returned anyway,

asking her broken home to hold her weakened body,

because she couldn’t bear to be separated from another extension of herself.

She sat at her kitchen table

allowing her city to consume her.

My grandmother and her sweetness, dissolving.

Ursa is a strange creature made of meat and bones. A grumpy stretch of skin. A lumpy mold. A storyteller. A drawer. A fitful dream of a human being.

 Ursa is a comic book artist and illustrator working out of New Orleans. She first began studying art at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and went on to receive a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Her work features surrealist narratives, social issues and personal reflections.