There’s this guy in my French class, quiet, dark hair, fucking dreamy. Smart, too. He sits in the back and answers Mme. Devlin perfectly every time. Even his accent is pretty.
He came to pick up food at the restaurant tonight. Beef with broccoli, eight egg rolls, hot and sour soup, and enough mu shu pork to feed the offensive line. Pop didn’t see me slip a dozen extra fortune cookies into the bag.
I picture him picking one from the pile. He cracks it and smiles, reading the message from me to him, all the words I’ll never say.
I probably should have brought my phone for it’s flashlight, but the moon lights the way through my snowy backyard to my neighbor’s house.
I smell yeast bread on the icy air as I approach her back steps.
I only stand in her kitchen for a moment, long enough for her to place the bag in my hands. “Still warm,” she says. I can see six shiny, golden-brown rolls inside.
At home, minutes later, my daughter eats two in a row. “They’re the best I’ve ever had!” And they are, soft, buttery buds of warmth, reminding us were not alone.
I have wire crampons for my boots
That help me walk in the snow.
In the spot I thought they’d be, next to the shoe rack,
Was a manila folder of recipes
That had slipped off the shelf
And spilled its contents on the floor.
I found Neiman Marcus Brownies,
Turkey Divan, and Cold Peanut Noodles.
I found the wrinkled, yellow legal paper with the heading
“Classic Stuffing Recipe!” which was my mom’s,
Lost for years.
It burned my hand.
I filed it with the others, back on the shelf.
It doesn’t help me walk.