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Alone in the Kitchen and the Demons that Stir Me

by Lauren Singer

The nights are reverberating echoes off of each other,
a dull, low hum. If I concentrate I can turn this white
noise into words and imagine soft chanting:
"You are alone, you are alone. All alone."

In a new city, I can be anyone.
No judgmental eye to accuse,
"You do not wear silver eye-shadow! Put your sneakers back on!"
Maybe I will start gardening, tell people
about my green thumb and while sifting soil
from potted plant to flower pot, no one
will suspect that I am faking it.

Without meaning, the days are longer.
What is a Thursday afternoon to a Saturday evening
when there's no one to call, just a martini to
savor on kitchen stool in your pajamas and no one
to see your red lips or your behaving hair?

It's just getting cold here,
the breeze from the lake rattling the blinds and winding
through the open window. I leave the lights on in
the apartment and weigh my prospects of bringing
cookies to the neighbors but, then,
there are so many doors and not enough keys and
each time I walk downstairs it is a corn maze to get
back to the beginning and so I
nibble the corner of my mountain of baked goods
and muse over how quickly the milk spoils
when I'm the only one taking it for my coffee.

I have to keep myself from calling you everyday,
know that nothing will be new where you are
since yesterday, that you are trying in your own right
to get through this and that this constancy and longing
must get tired as you will yourself to move on.

Are you getting enough sleep? Are you happy? Are you feeling well?
The answers are cruel to ask when I already know the answers to be 'no'.

I finishing off my drink and do not worry about the dishes.
I keep the television on the lowest register,
the voices in the room bating me against madness and I brush
my teeth ever so slowly to pass the time and
wait for an appropriate hour to sleep,
ticking off a to-do list like counted sheep and moments
before dozing decide tomorrow I might
bake an eggplant parmesan.

09/12/2013

Posted on 09/12/2013
Copyright © 2020 Lauren Singer

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 09/13/13 at 06:02 PM

A new favourite of mine of yours Lauren. Maybe because I can see a lot of myself in this piece, in terms of time, having just retired. I love being retired, but it's almost too quiet now. I can go for days, and not talk to anyone, except for brief conversation with neighbors and staff at the local plaza.

Posted by Shannon McEwen on 09/15/13 at 07:13 PM

incredibly vivid, and now oddly I want cookies and eggplant. Loved the style of this, it sucked me in from the beginning to the very end. Love it.

Posted by George Hoerner on 09/19/13 at 07:53 PM

Too many of us have been through this in one form or another. Nice write.

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