Tonight I was boiling linguine in my mother’s kitchen.
I closed my eyes and when they opened I was in my kitchen. The first of my 3 kitchens.
You were standing there in Levi’s and a white oxford shirt
Holding a stalk of lemon pepper linguine in your hand and crunching on it/
This bothered me. A lot.
But I thought he must have a good reason.
He’ll know precisely how I’ve ruined it if he tests it now.
I was making lemon holandaise, steamed salmon and pasta.
This was the second and last time I cooked for you.
The first time, you brought a bottle of white wine.
I drank it alone and entirely the next day.
Several months passed and you hadn’t called.
So I lied and called and said I still have that wine you brought me, I guess you’ll have to come over again.
You agreed– always so agreeable. I hate you. But I digress.
I toddled over to the state store closest to your apartment and prayed I could find it on the shelf.
I found it pre-chilled in the fridgerator because you hadn’t cared enough to bring the very best.
But it met my needs and I brought it home.
I bought the salmon steaks and pasta at the Grill Master Deli. That guy was white but now he’s Korean. The browning of America they call this.
I stole a jar of peach/apricot preserves on my way out.
I told you this as you were nibbling your dry pasta and you were appalled.
I said I would stop shoplifting for real.
Whenever I knew that I’d be seeing you I’d steal something earlier in the day.
Our first dinner at my place, it was a pair of black leather barrettes from Strawbridge’s.
I paid for one and stole the other because she was taking too long to ring me up.
I always felt like being bad on those days; hoping you would love me if I was edgier, not so straight-laced.
More fun and alluring. Larceny was a grand stroke of celebration for me.
I stopped stealing when you said out loud it wasn’t attractive. Or a good idea. Something along those lines.
I don’t remember the words, only that pecan syrup, drawless voice of yours.
I find it hypnotic even now. I could listen to you talk for a day and a half and never interrupt.
I think perhaps I am not well.
I carry you inside of me and you are heavy and you ain’t my brother.
I had always wanted a big brother like you. There was eventually a man with your birthday but much older.
I will marry him just to spite you.
Just watch me you bum. Just you watch.
A different one saw our picture on a bookshelf in my living room and dropped his champagne flute on the wooden floor beneath us.
He owes me 32 dollars plus tax.
Feel free to pay up because it was your gorgeous face and those teeth and that wicked smile dancing across both our young faces, with
Their soulless eyes.
Those four brown eyes, are so confident, so pleased with themselves.
And refreshingly: not about each other.
So not in love. So over it and in control of that whole room full of folks in their finery.
Not a couple but a force.
A tempest, really.
And individually happy for one night.
Good for us.That’s just as it should always be.