Salad Days

For Micah Ruelle

We were not green in judgment or cold
in blood like Cleopatra in her youth
who still was ordering chopped radish
in her bowls back then,
the hearts all gone to pieces
next to the winter greens
that in our days we never had use for
so smitten were we with fire
and ovens that I was gravy in judgment,
which might not mean much
unless you’ve taken a spoon
of it and poured it back over a dumpling
shaped like your heart
so that it became even softer,
something you could not have thought possible.
It’s all happening now,
you liked to say, and I agreed,
though it was not the news
from the outside I relished,
but the daily Extra! Extra! the light
of the morning brought to my attention
every time we woke in your house
or my house and my heart
— salty, risen — was warm
again in a way it hadn’t been for years.
Organ of passion, organ of righteousness
that has never had a single flavor cross its lips,
how could you know
how much I would miss the honey of those days,
her drizzle of it on the turkey bacon,
my cracking pepper up and down the pan,
the sweet meat of happiness
I would no longer let pass between our teeth.

More Poems by Tomás Q. Morín