Routinely, I order the reduced balsamic
vinaigrette, but what exactly is it?
Is it similar to extra-extra virgin
olive oil, consistency measured in degrees
of pure? All past regret redacted?
Someone is laid to rest today,
the body incapable of holding out
against so many abuses. You make your bed,
you lie in it, my father always said.
The heart reacts. My own contracts.
Someone has a feeding tube
removed while I’m eating my Cobb
at Friday’s, thinking green is good this time
of year, since last evening’s leftover pot roast
will send me over my quota of red
meat, the vitamins of carrots and potatoes
diminished after hours of simmer.
But oh, please don’t forget the bleeding
of flavors, the tenderness
of shoulder falling from bone.
—from Rattle #25, Spring 2006