~by Nina Lindsay

Today’s Special Dish

It was the morning’s sweetness, a cold wind
on warm air and the papery smell

of wisteria, that tempted me to homemade tortellini
for your lunch. Now, broth

simmering, the pasta is dry
and cracking in my fingers. The last time we spoke

was like this,
frazzled, rushed, marked by a kiss for the sake

of notifying you that I still love you.
Now I want to start over.

Plain noodles in butter.
Kissing by the kitchen window.

I love you perfectly when you are gone—please picture
how I intend to treat you. As if just the thought

should make it true: the tortellini
in the pot—broth blossoming—the dumplings suddenly plump, and soft.



I want to be a better person
than other people.
Not need to compare myself all the time to them.

Better to be like the dollar bill so good it purrs into the slot,
like the socks you always pick first from the drawer,
like the duck who waddles down the road, observant, concerned,

but relaxed—bizarre and beautiful. The morning wraps its arms around her
and when it is too much she shrugs it back a step
with a bristle of her wings.