Missing you is easy when
The rim of my red plastic bowl
Chips gawkish fractures into the egg in my palm.
Maybe I miss the porcelain bowls you picked out
when I was seven. Maybe Inland Empire
Eggshells just crumple easier into my bowl-bound
Flour hills than I’m used to.
In summer I knew to clear out from the kitchen when you pulled
Our sputtering handmixer out from the cupboards.
You’d stand in the frame of the open window,
Dig measuring spoons into canisters.
You wouldn’t let me help.
Sometimes, here, I forget that the bottom rack roosts
Too close to the scorching curves of my oven coils.
This faded, butter-splattered recipe card, looped with your handwriting,
Promised me perfection in ten minutes. I pulled these charred lumps at eight.
They hiss in the trash can, spit singed sugar at my flimsy oven mitt.
You never baked in the first apartment. You were never in the mood.
Maybe the kitchen was too small to fit us both, to fit our hissing and
Raw silence. But now, though your new china nests among new cupboards,
I can only tiptoe back to memories when your churning spatula paused,
When you smiled at me.
My apartment is littered with boxes of craft projects and pictures and
Packs of books – anything you didn’t want room for.
Fledglings are pushed out of the nest with less, but I wish you’d at least
Sent me flapping with directions for meatloaf or
A roll of quarters for my mushrooming laundry basket.
When I was seventeen and wanted to prove I could make the better fudge,
I scorched the pot. Smooth chocolate wisped with marshmallow
Stuttered into clunky pebbles. You tried to rescue it for me. I just
Hovered, hands knotted in the same shapes my stomach forges when I think of
Calling you to ask if I can come home.
The slab of fluorescent lights above my head stays off. You preferred
Incandescents anyway. My hair sidles out of the clip I stole from you, frizzes
To the flipped rhythms of your old saxophone music. My hip clicks and these thirty-six
Sugar cookie pills aren’t worth the dish soap I’ll need to scrub up.
But they’re mine.
Alexandra Villamore is an undergraduate at UC Riverside.