Keeping Things Cold
I've hung on to what's left over --
what you touched, what fed you,
taken stock of the refrigerator's gelid interior,
sought evidence you were here.
Behind the yellow mustard,
and a half-squeezed tube of disappointment,
that Tiger Sauce you loved.
Best Before: Sept. 2007.
Some things I needed to keep.
Today, in the mail, an invitation.
Your Amy is getting married in the fall.
You'll be gone eleven years.
Who invites the dead fiancé's mother to her wedding?
She must have weighed the pros and cons as I do,
afraid I'll put a damper on the day for those who knew you,
and burden those who ask: And how do you know the bride?
Afraid she'll hurt if I don't show.
Afraid she'll hurt if I do.
I search online for the perfect gift,
compose my best excuse.
Tonight, I'll make French onion soup (your favorite),
globules of butterfat dancing on its surface,
like I would have danced at your wedding.
First published in Diode, 2018