"The Mouth of the Mind"
In the garden this morning,
I knelt to pinch the basil back
and found a baby rabbit
mild and untouchable as a baked potato.
He'll be my guest tonight
sitting at the dream table between you and me
wearing a double-breasted aluminum jacket.
In the salad bowl, an argument Bill and I had about money—
crisp Lincolns tossed in a lemon vinaigrette.
Frank's cancer's a Charlotte Russe
lying like a stray bullet on the counter.
All our daughters are grown, Sarah.
Why still cook when the chairs are empty?
The mind's eye's for imagining,
but the mouth of the mind is a gullet
where our days empty out
—the everyday, the unbearable, and the good—
and the night kitchen serves it up with iced mint tea
as fast as we can wash it down.
Leslie McGrath is author of Opulent Hunger, Opulent Rage.
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