How could you leave me this?
The cold, vanilla light, thick with
onion, herbs, vegetables past their prime,
the timeless graveyard smell of groceries long gone
of milk beyond an easy memory.
Such fragile eggs--I mark their sell-by date,
the date you stole my soul by,
but brittle hope and make-believe,
calcium and cardboard, crushed
under a sauce of unknown origin,
its label, love, long since torn away,
only so many months their false exteriors preserve,
before their sulfurous hearts betray.
Hands that held your hands hold cans,
half-eaten, beans and corn, and stay
but brief upon the remnants of a steak,
cooked for us by I don't remember who--
previously pink, now rimed with green and gray.
Did I pack this lunch for you,
or was it made for me?
We were once as this sandwich, so recently,
inseperable by time or force,
two creatures bound as one,
by love or mayonnaise united,
now stale, now damp, uneaten and undone.
Should lettuce be the color of your hair?
Should produce shine like eyes, should bread
be soft and downy as your arms?
Such things remain when lovers lose their charms,
cruel cabbage, heartless meat,
deliquiescing vegetables, running though my hands,
warmer than that one last touch.