The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Andrew Szilvasy


The shale-hued baking pan, shorn of broccoli, wedged
upwards, hides today’s archaeology

with almost geologic accuracy.
Yes, only a few utensils have slipped to the bottom,

rabbits in the sink’s Precambrian
to fool some modern Haldane into faith.

The mess isn’t beautiful, but that it stands
astounds, as if there was design behind

this Lechevallier I hesitate to touch.
I don’t use gloves; limousine liberal that

I am, I have organic dish soap, citrus-
scented and refreshing to nose and hand.

Just below the Holocene are bits
of crust from a ham sandwich and splashes of mustard.

I can recreate the lunch from evidence,
except the cup is upside down: the liquid lost.

Finally, I lift the plate, flip it and rinse it,
and gently place the artifact with the others

in the drying rack. The steak knives are last,
frayed bits of sacrifice still in their teeth.

Done, I see a perfect emptiness:
a whole history erased from the basin.

Though thirsty, I refuse a glass of water;
I don’t even pour my beer out of the can.

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