How memories turn
Memories are plastic, my friend tells me,
they burn, they twist, they blacken.
I’d rather, instead, swaddle them tight
in plastic wrap, preserve them:
the uncharred burgers of my childhood,
thick slices of cheddar melted on top
from the warmth of my father’s hands,
the sautéed onions, peppers and pierogis
tossed with the melted red spatula
in our white galley kitchen.
The last time I opened the fridge,
it was in the process of being emptied
of anything that had touched
my parents’ lips. I should have
savored every bite of their leftovers,
taken them with me to my new home,
draped the baby Swiss over my head
as a veil at my mother’s funeral,
laid it on her dresser in my new apartment
until it turned black from mold.