nor your soul is waiting for me at
the end of this,”
— Nick Flynn, “Cathedral of Salt”
All I ever wanted was a kitchen and you
standing in the tile-white light.
Me, on the floor, drinking pink lemonade
& watching the minutes blink 30
In all my years I’ve never been —
not to glass chapels, not to salt stone arches
Only this stained steel basin,
citrus dripping from faucet to palm
Is love stored in the orange, or the knife?
The plate, or in the slice?
This was once an ordinary nothing, now
crystallized — tea leaves of a memory,
less salt than sweet,
a sugar piece between my teeth
Here in my mouth, growing
along the garden rows of my gums:
the bud I won’t name but know;
the root I can’t let go;
buried hopes, chrysanthemum seeds;
the cavity I want emptied
& filled again. I wished for water, or a friend:
You gave me a song instead. And yet,
I’m still searching for that pew: the altar
where glass is rinsed anew;
where with dish soap and cleaner I can plead
your patience, forgiveness, a boon. Or at least
flour and a rolling pin to bake bread with.