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.