Two Poems

KEI MILLER

*

HOW THE WIDOW IS REMADE

She breaks the cemetery ground
to find her husband's casket,
dislodges a rib and wears it
around her neck. His ghost,
already in hell, will not trouble her.
She never hides the talisman
in the depth of her church
frock, but wears it proud so it can
ward off weak men. At first,
there was flesh clinging
to the bone. She scraped it off,
stewed it with cabbage and ate.
It wasn't voodoo, but she proved
he was always soft.

*

ONION THERAPY

When she died you fell in love
with onion rings. Blessed
by the sound of oil
popping in her kitchen again,
the calm whisking of eggs,
sifting flour with paprika,
triple baptism of each ring.

How you've grown addicted
to the slow smoke which fills
the air, something like a sťance.
Imagine you, who burnt bread religiously
on her birthdays, have found
a sudden knack for gourmet and
the delicate use of knives;
have found therapy in the slicing
of white bulbs, the careful
release of fumes —
another excuse each day to cry.

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