Various and Sundry Poetry


she takes a minute to slice an avocado,
spreads it over two pieces of bread, a little
lemon, salt, pepper, and sitting at the kitchen
table she realizes she can hear nothing but the hum
of the refrigerator, the entire house empty of
dogs and lovers and the attention that must be paid
to living things. she has forgotten what avocados
taste like when eaten alone, in a quiet house,
on an early Tuesday afternoon, that green silk
of fruit, the citrus tang alongside, the sweet burn
pepper always leaves behind. sometimes she wonders
if she is meant for solitude, riding the long stretch
of such a highway. but no. what she needs most is the pause,
a caesura from the clamor and clatter of love, a bit of shade,
some corner of the house untouched, untethered, hers.

only from here can she see the splendor of the living room tumult,
the half-read magazines, chew toys metastasizing on the rug, the couch
where, later, she will lean back to watch television or
rub feet or order takeout. from here, she can almost trace
the evening that will unfold after the avocado wanes
and disappears from her plate, how the light will eventually descend
and the sky will purple, then darken altogether, how the house
will begin its evening buzz, that other reprieve from all that is lonely
or missing, and the fireplace will crackle into another kind of life,
spitting its embers skyward, where the stars are.