We spent last summer
canning pickles –
I dug up old recipes
for putting love and sweetness into jars;
you did the hard work of sealing the jars,
making sure no air could come in.
Together, we chopped up what the earth had given us,
we salted, sweetened, and boiled our concoctions
to purify them and preserve them forever.
Those pickles were so good.
We ate them right up.
(I still have one jar of peaches
that I’ve been saving
for when you come back to me.)
Since then, you have preserved all manner of my accomplishments:
my tomato sauce, my chicken stock, my pumpkin soup,
about which you raved to our friends,
holding me sacred between the tongs,
sealing me in love.
So, I cannot comprehend
how one jar of curry
in the pantry –
you must not have
sealed it tight enough.
It leaked down the wall
and started to stink –
that contained our love –
stunk like rot,
our efforts turned bitter
weeping down the wall.