Notes: On Keeping

She spoke the languages of flour,
of salt, of pepper. From her hands

issued heat and steam;
from her hips, small

constellations still learning
the lessons of combustion.

Once, we tore newspapers
into tiny squares and fed them

to the maw of a makeshift stove.
Windows lit up with low

wattage light. It was enough
to see by— enough to weigh

into logs and stud with dried
fruit, cloves, honey: they kept

nearly six months in tins,
tightly wrapped, unopened.

When she flew away, a moth
circled the milky light.

The kitchen drawers exhaled
all spice from their hearts.

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