canned afternoon

we talked about methods 
of preservation: salt & sugar & vinegar.
pickles in their shoulder colonies.
you laughed when i said 
i wanted to be as green as you.
you said sometimes you scream 
at the woods & sometimes you 
break a dozen twigs until your heart
is a flock of wasps. then, i admitted
i cut the tips off my fingers once
in a rush of fear. i worried there would be
no more periods to end sentences. 
i had decided i would become 
that closure i needed. together,
we filled jars with words like
"someday." i believed we would be
the first humans to live to at least 300.
thus, we had more than enough time
to catch garter snakes & name them
after boys who wouldn't 
love us back. get bit & let the bites
glisten like jewels. the thing is,
everything in this jar is already over. 
we have no more carpet for our bare feet
or window whose light could make
anyone a boy. eating toast 
for the sunset because she had 
no mouth. i won't speak for you
but i think i ate enough salt 
for a lifetime. tied my shoe laces
in ladders to the next planet.
you said when you did die you would want
to be frozen or canned like peaches.
i pictured your body a statue.
your fingers like fits of clouds.
sugar in your eyes. lids rolling down hills
to the lake where all the fish
dream of legs. i said, "i want that too"
even though really i craved 
the opposite. a release. humid hands.
lifted in a breath to the clouds.
no weight left in me. turning pink
in the fading day. blushing 
like i always did with you. 
is this how the sun makes sense
of the moon? i take a fork now 
& eat pickles at the kitchen table.
your porch twists. turns lattice.
remains cured in brine. 

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