|Theresa lives in Helena, Montana.|
© 2004 Theresa Boyar
settled on the recipe a week in advance,
from a cookbook that had never done us wrong
before. But what the directions failed
to specify was white wine, not red.
table has its bowls of prim potatoes,
candied yams, a tray of carved meat.
The table itself is smooth American wood,
blistered into being by homesteaders
known for their sensibility. And now,
this unfamiliar neighbor,
gaudy orbs bobbing in pink cream.
year, the local paper reported
on a woman who roasted a turkey,
its pouch of giblets still inside.
Her oven plasticized the poultry
and toxic smoke filled her kitchen,
where medics found her slumped
near wine and an egg timer.
Luckily, nothing involving an egg timer
can be too tragic and she reappeared
two days later, smiling above a caption
hinting that accidents of the culinary sort
are more likely to breed comedy than calamity.
We have pink onions.
Pink onions in a cut-glass dish
and we'll recreate the recipe next year
as well, redubbing the colors of the harvest:
russet, gold, pumpkin, and berry-flesh pink.
of wearing all that abstract power
the way a beauty queen
clammed between two mirrors
wearies of the dull subway line
of her own reflection.
She wanted proof of her existence
like metal on her tongue,
she wanted to taste it.
the millennium's great unrolling,
how she trotted out
in glorified triplicate
behind the lucid number two.
The pageantry of it all,
everyone with their theories.
Chaos. Murder. Apocalyptic terror
come to earth at last
in the guise of a great computer bug.
spent immeasurable hours reflecting
on the curled distance
from one appearance to another,
wanting only to be left alone
beneath a starless sky,
left alone to contemplate
the seductive nature of ovals.
to understand her distress.
And even they,
with chalky hands and leering eyes,
wanted only to unravel her great mystery
and would never believe
only existed in their minds.
pond of their marriage
never thawed and always,
they would slip and fall
across its surface, crashing
against each other, puncture
of thin blade, wound built
upon wound. No one
could talk them into leaving the ice.
Observers in the trees sat
cross-legged on branches,
chucking the occasional pinecone.
It was nobody's fault, really.
Blame it on a misalignment
of the planets, a warm breeze
lifting a girl's hair until
a soldier wanted to climb inside,
to surround himself with her.
Blame it on a girl
so tired of Cairo, Illinois,
that she would cast her hook
into anyone bound for any border,
that she would buy the distortions
delivered through membranes of ice.
paleness of you -- pure and warm,
You yawn against my shoulder,
then seal again
your tiny lips into a sweet pinch.
On your small hands, knuckles are barely visible.
They are rounded, soft.
Not hard enough to be bone.
Your whole hand clutches my forefinger
and ghost moons curve along the base
of your fingernails.
Milk whitens your tongue,
oil glistens on your skin.
We rock back and forth in the late night hours,
with the slow clock beating time and
a cup of tea growing cold on the end table.
All poems are copyrighted property of Theresa Boyar.
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