Our Kitchen of Perpetual Failure by Theresa Boyar
Nothing here delivers.
We tuck in ribs, a long
empurpled rack soaked
in honey and ginger.
It comes out later, minus
the promised aroma,
the bubbling dark glaze.
We suspect a revolution.
On shelf paper turned desert
with flour spilled from flopped
almond scones, the canned goods
cluster toward rebellion.
Crack open the cupboards
and they’re stacked in glimmering
innocence, eyeless totems amid
teeming armies of rice and pasta.
We do our best to ignore them
and accept invitations to other kitchens
where careless children pour tall glasses
of Kool-Aid and the wallpaper screams
of productivity. Swelled
grapes, bursting melons, a bounty
of hard, crayon-bright fruit
that multiplies into the corners.
Back home, our kitchen echoes
back each tap of our wooden spoon.
We double-check measurements,
read everything twice, and still
the custards never set, the soufflés
always fall. The salmon emerges
pink and shriveled and we
consider giving up altogether.
We eat in silence over our plates
each night, the shiny utensils
stretched between us.
It’s not just me, you
see it too, the way they look
more and more like barbed wire.