Frutti Di Mare
BY BRUCE SNIDER
Alone, finally, me and you
together, first time in a long week.
We stand in the kitchen cutting
chunks of halibut, fresh crab meat.
Pressing hard, I cleave a stubborn
clam, slice my finger. More,
my blood seems to say, more
across onions, the counter, while you
grab paper towels, stubbornly
staunch the flow, my knees gone weak.
Hours later, red permeates
the make-shift bandage, the cut
gaping as an ER doctor cuts
sterile thread to sew it up. No more
knives for you, he says. I meet
his spectacled eyes, then yours.
We laugh. How many weeks?
you ask. Pain? Infection? your stubborn
worried voice less stubborn
in this light. Home again, you clean cutlery
say the grass needs mowed this week,
then stand sorting bills and more
while I, looking up at you,
think about that day, years ago, we met,
remembering our young selves, their unmet
needs—raw, impulsive, newborn—
hungry for our bodies, for a me and you.
Now, on the sofa, unsexy, my cut
hand elevated on a pillow, I ask for more
ice and can see the weeks
ahead of laundry, quarrel, devotion, weeks
of living where we meet
what we are and more,
this day and daily-ness reborn
in me and the map of stitches on my cut
finger that points to you.