a rumination on dirty dishes, Gabrielle Peterson

IMG_2454Untitled, London Bellman


a rumination on dirty dishes

so clean it come afternoon if the dishes are still
untouched. white moons, basins spotted with
grunge. look upon craters of whale bone,

pears too ripe, but only if i do forget to wipe away
the grease. why don’t you neglect the thought of a meal’s
necessity, the degrading and desolate way our bodies

perish if not for the soup cans, racks of lamb,
breast meat that chars if cooked for just over
two smoke alarm sounds; and i’ll try to remember

the muck embroidered mugs, the soaking wok
that i really only left soaking so as
not to dig my fingers into its grime. this isn’t

gardening, my love, there is nothing nutritive about
crooking the arthritic joints, working to hide evidence of an earth
prepared as if embarrassed at the devilish upheaval

of root vegetables, saltwater salmon. our self-serving
interest in the ground and its underside. wake tomorrow
to a virgin kitchen, its unholy conversions from uneaten

to eaten untold by you and your sleepy eyes.
though if i do forget to wipe away the grease,
scrub the sink sterile with peroxide bleach,

your morning coffee will be delayed, your hands
forced to work the pans clean

of dinner’s indiscretions.

Gabrielle Peterson

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