poetry: john tustin – frying potatoes and onions

FRYING POTATOES AND ONIONS

I woke up and coughed my disease into the sink
And then I pissed and brushed my teeth.

It was when I started frying potatoes and onions,
Potatoes I cubed and an onion I sliced in this same room
Where I now sit and type,
That I began to think about you again,
For the third time that morning.
We were in my old apartment and it was after one A.M.
You were hungry and I made you a bacon and egg sandwich
The way my grandmother used to make one for me on Sunday morning
When I stayed at her house as a teenager.
You were so grateful, so filled with happiness
That I was doing something that is really so small
Compared to what I would be willing to do for you
And you kept saying how delicious it was,
Us warm and still vibrating from our hours
Going back and forth in bed.

Every object in the room brings a memory,
Every toss and turn in bed brings flames of fetid anger
Simmering in my stomach.
Now the rain has stopped and the fog is rolling in
But never enough that I cannot still see you
Delighting in every moment with me and steeling yourself
For when time would suspend our moments for another week
Or two.

It feels as if you are as dead as my grandmother
Or my mother
Instead of just gone from me and me alone
And when I think of you all that exists is mourning
Because it is still so new.
The potatoes, the onions, the spices
Clench themselves at the pit of my stomach
And all my eyes can see are things that are not here
And all my heart can feel
Is a phantom pain for the love we had
That you let suffer and die
All for the sake of the congruity
Of a false and moldy
Paradigm.

So I went back to bed,
Coughing again,
And wishing
For another night
Where you were still alive in my life,
Oblivious to your secrets, your artifice,
And the fraud of your extended silence

 

~

find John Tustin here

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One thought on “poetry: john tustin – frying potatoes and onions

  1. Great stuff. Such potent imagery conveyed with just the right amount of detail as to avoid mellow drama, which is the difference between a skilled hand and not. I’m glad I got to read this.

    Like

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