Meryl DePasquale


Come in to my creepy kitchen. Run your hand
           down this darkened drain. Each appliance has a soul and a handle
for opening. Sunrise activates the coffeemaker.

A woman appears between paint peel and shadow. She soaps
                                 and stirs. That woman is me,
not another metaphor. I’ve been waiting here
       for enclosure, for coffee, for a bitter break from dreams.

All narratives are battle narratives. It's simply the field
                         that varies. I will meet him
on an open landscape lit with foxes. My final revolt will be staged
                                       in knobby branches and orange gleaming.
But for now I'll settle for the square tiles
       that cross the cramped space from countertop to fridge door.

Wake up. This is how a person gets killed, how a sweet potato
                                                       gets fried in peanut oil. His arms
have made me parenthetical. Breakfast is almost ready.



I wrote this poem for an aubade project I'm working on with three poet-friends. I was inspired by a dream I had about a kitchen that had an ominous feeling with no clear cause, as well as Utagawa Hiroshige's woodblock print New Year's Eve Foxfires at the Hackberry Tree in Oji.

[New Year’s Eve Foxfires at the Hackberry Tree in Oji (from the series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo), Utagawa Hiroshige, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1857.]