I considered other ways
to earn my silence. Midway through
cooking dinner, the cake’s already
finished, the candles all in place.
Each birthday means the last rites of all these
sterile chicken eggs—I hatch
and beat them. Who’s the mother now?
When I’m all toothless old, feed
me cake mix as a liquid. Why bother
making solids of nights without you,
saying grace before I put the napkin
on my lap? Grace, the word
limbers the mouth. I cringe
from all the ways eggs con
their colors, clear and rheumy
when cracked, then rubbery and opaque.
I’ve made a dozen still lifes for you
to throw away. Remember,
every time we eat, we kill
each other. I smother margarine
in modern clots along your arteries.
When you found me young
and feasting by the sink
on blueberries last night, I swore
I'd stuff the newspapers beneath
the doors when you went out
like the ears of lawyers who soufflé
the facts. To my survived, I’d rather be
the cinders in your play oven
and let the kitchen be a glutton
than leave myself a mess for you,
fitfully pink, sunning with
carbon monoxide, rolling pin hushed
with DNA and flour. How quietly
the jets let out their fuel and take us down
without an odor.