drinks water from the air, the steamy
pot lid and the cradle of my sweating palm.
On the kitchen table, rice grains fatten
in the salt shaker, sulky as slugs. Nick
my finger and the thin, transparent
skin slip smarts with it. Leave it out,
all flavor’s lost.
drops a white pinch where potatoes
simmer on the kerosene stove. She misses
her sister, dead in Norway, the stiff
hay racks and the water’s steep black edge.
round box with its little girl flaunting
an umbrella, her saucy skirt flared, one foot
placed with confidence before her,
goes back on the shelf. I taste the time
I’m grown, the abrading thrill,
the sharp saltiness of it.