We play this game where she guesses the name
of each plant, its Latin and common label. She is always
right. It’s September. The tomatoes outside finally freeze
and she says my name like a surprise, a person I never knew.
She keeps her butter on the counter. I too learn to love my body:
soft, sitting in plush chairs. She asks if she can make me breakfast.
Yes. How strange it is to give in and for the regret to
stay stagnant. Once upon a time, I tell her, there was a girl
who did not eat. She fell asleep in the snow and turned into
a tree. In each other’s arms, we gossip of good breakfasts:
bagels, always with plain cream cheese. Pancakes from scratch.
Oranges crushed with my dad’s handheld juicer. Isn’t that love,
that you’d do anything for someone? Since when was love this easy,
pouring itself from gutters after the first snow falls. I will only know you
in winter. There once was a woman who thought she fell in love
in this kitchen. Now, she’s learning to be alone again.