– Aimee Nezhukumatathil –


In the dinner I cook for myself tonight,
you are an open drawer of cutlery.

I’ve smelled the top notes of butter-knives
at your shoulder, the tang hidden in the blade

of your walk. I need a serving spoon
to scoop dal into a cool ceramic, a fork

with tines long enough to pierce the skin
of the butternut squash roasted

in honeyjuice. & even your hands
have become a kind of instrument—

delicate enough to slide the meat
out of the shell, sturdy enough to crack 

a breastbone if need be. Or maybe what
I smelled as we held each other that morning

filled with star-light & crickets—was the clean
coolness of a knife’s ricasso, the flat rest

for a thumb just before the blade
finally disappears into its handle.