“Boiled eggs taste better at sea,” she claimed.
We dedicated our morning to untangling rods
and replacing hooks.
She pulled old shrimp out of the freezer for bait
and the stray cats gathered for a cold breakfast.
Two boiled eggs sealed in a Tupperware lined with tissue.
“The deeper we’ll get, the better they’ll taste.”
I held onto my hat with one hand and the boat with the other.
She took the cap off the Jerrycan but the siphon didn’t fit.
I held the funnel. The boat swayed. She poured petrol onto my wrist.
It trickled towards my elbow and I gagged.
“I’m sorry! I had no idea you hated the smell so much.”
I wretched over the side of the boat and left my arm dangling
over, until the floor had plummeted far below
and I saved my hand from the ocean’s unknown.
“Are you ready?” She asked, smiling.
She peeled her own egg and dipped it into the water. “Sea salt!”
The egg tasted better, but not because of the sea.
It was the temperamental radio,
the cats with full bellies,
the hilarious stench of fuel
and the eggshells sinking down to somewhere.
She might be one hundred
things, or something
less whole. More awkward,
like four-hundred and seventy
I cannot say that she is just one thing.
Not even eight will do.
It is too round, too infinite.
She could be sixty-three
and the next day
what about 102?
Other days we are only composite,
dividing into smaller
This Time It Tastes Different
To walk through the kitchen in the early evening,
for the gas stove to be burning blue,
under a pan of bubbling gravy.
When I step out into the garden, the air is saccharine:
choux dough and heavy cream.
I haven’t tasted an eclair in years but that’s what outside tastes like.
It tastes different at 10 a.m., or at dusk,
when it’s 70% cocoa but still bitter-sweet.