After the gentle click of the latch behind him
the house readjusts to a new order,
its details trembling on a string of lists:
walk to market, walk to cleaners, start stew.
She is testing a life as readymade for her
as love, how the shape of someone's
shoulders suddenly comes to mean this much;
this far and no farther. With utter
certainty she crushes the iced slush underfoot
in a morning as wide-open and delicate as
the mouth of a teacup: she must have
12 small white onions, she must have
bleeding cubes of stewing beef, and cream
of tartar for biscuits. The summer night they met
she said, I can't cook, I don't cook.
Now in winter the blade makes neat work
of her lie, quartering potatoes
glistening in their nudity, filling the simmering
pot to its fragrant hissing lip.

:: Suzanne Matson, Durable Goods (Alice James, 1993)

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