Plastic wrap, that bloody,
crumpled clear foil, lies on
the counter dripping meat-blood
down. It pools in swirls of
reds and browns.
I am browning meat in the hot skillet
for just another meal, vegetables and spices,
starch to expand it.
The cat jumps up, dirty paws
to lick and lick and leave
bloody meat-juice paw prints
across the dirty kitchen floor.
The wooden spoon
warms as I caramelize,
crisp sweet on the inside.
Cayenne and aleppo and thyme
kick at me from my rib cage
like my own heart beating a lie.
Our children are playing.
I am a ghost to them, they pretend
my calling to them is the wind in the trees.
They climb higher to escape.
I watch them through windows,
catching glimpses through branches and sunlight.
Their laughter and singing and dancing
like windchimes in the sweet warm breeze.
My pot hisses with steam and I turn back to the stirring,
wooden spoon churning the stock.
It is almost time.