Neither you

nor your soul is waiting for me at


the end of this,”

— Nick Flynn, “Cathedral of Salt”


All I ever wanted was a kitchen and you

standing in the tile-white light.

Me, on the floor, drinking pink lemonade

& watching the minutes blink 30


In all my years I’ve never been —

not to glass chapels, not to salt stone arches

Only this stained steel basin,

citrus dripping from faucet to palm


Is love stored in the orange, or the knife?

The plate, or in the slice?


This was once an ordinary nothing, now

crystallized — tea leaves of a memory,

less salt than sweet,

a sugar piece between my teeth


Here in my mouth, growing

along the garden rows of my gums:

the bud I won’t name but know;

the root I can’t let go;

buried hopes, chrysanthemum seeds;


the cavity I want emptied

& filled again. I wished for water, or a friend:


You gave me a song instead. And yet,

I’m still searching for that pew: the altar

where glass is rinsed anew;


where with dish soap and cleaner I can plead

your patience, forgiveness, a boon. Or at least

flour and a rolling pin to bake bread with.