On leaving, my lover

unbraids soft neck garlic, detangles

the hairs with amateur cook precision to avoid

 

flakes, crumbles. The upstairs neighbour is running

a bath for her disabled son. He is nowhere, as am I.

 

I sink my hands into bags of amaranth, sea salt,

dusk. Fluorescent kitchen light fills my mouth. It’s time

 

to get scrubbed clean. Rubber ducky’s here. Man’s best friend

is a stainless steel knife no matter how you hold it.

 

My lover uproots green sprouts, pinwheels cloves

in perfect countertop ordinance. Through the window, the son

 

arm-wrestles sunflowers and crowns himself yellow. Decapitation

rings false for the blind. Something rises

 

in my throat—half anticipation, half hunger

pangs. They will leap out like frogs on the drive home.

 

At the door we enter a holding pattern. My lover’s words

are palindromes I interpret in slow, limitless ways.

Published online January 14 2015.


The Open Issue cover image

This piece was published in ‘The Open Issue,’ the Winter 2015 issue of CV2.

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