TWENTY-TWO - lynn vande stouwe

Lobsters empathize. They do not scream in boiling water; happy to make us happy.

Paycheck stubs tacked to the fridge. Three digits and the first is nine. We’re flush.

Cigarette smoke curls out the window. A cough like wet cement. You’re no expert. In daylight the scent disgusts you. We bake cookies for camouflage but the odor clings to the dishtowels until you burn them on a Friday unlike tonight. Eight years from now. When you leave.

You say that we’re your parents now. But we’re mashing potatoes in a Calphalon pot, getting hot from all the steam and wine.

Lynn Vande Stouwe
Swimming Home
Deborah Levy