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In the kitchen

Linda France

When you stand arms warm with froth, all you see

is a wall of stone, the suggestion

of weather, dirty glass. You know your hands

will smell of leftovers, garlic and grease,


something sweet; you will not smell good enough

to eat. When the water and steel has made

you their prisoner, he will stack himself

behind you, close as a knife. He will tell

you he needs you more than food or fortune,

spoon or cup; kiss your neck like the scent

of sunlight. And you will grow fat on the way

he holds your waist, hungry as a dying man.


Until the dirty water empties itself

against the grain in a silver tide

and you can dry your ten pink fingers one

by one; take his hand and show him what


that wooden door in the stone wall is for,

broken glass, how soft the rain is as it falls.


From Brando's Hat No 1 (Spring 1998)