In last night’s dream, my father is
time-shifted, twenty years younger,
and listening, but trying to look
as if he’s not interested.
I see them talking, but can’t hear.
She collects recipes for “sides.”
Who needs a main dish? Chickpea crepes.
Almond crusted eggplant. Ginger
cilantro sweet corn. Oven fried
green tomatoes. Pickled scapes. There’s
something different about making
side dishes, and being made one.
Did he go home to his wife
afterwards? When he finally
left, insisting on one last kiss,
both hands shook shoving the door bolt
home, everything revolting, strange.
One finger. The left hand’s index.
The fingernail polish was pink.
Light baby pink. Peony pink.
Too thin, it cracked at the ridges
and wore off, chipped at the edges.
It was a map, a mystery.
There should be a painting of it
big as a wall, huge as a house.