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How to Reheat an Omelette
or; The Art of Being Alive
It’s Saturday near-noon, barely-hanging-onto-morning
And the sun is pouring onto my couch and touching my coffee table
In a way that makes me think that Buddhist podcast might be onto something
And I’ve just split the last apple from home with myself
Crying at the TV
And mourning you like a death
While my tulips come back to life.
How can I explain what you are to me now?
The sun is hot today, for October. In the streets people peel off their cardigans
And suddenly I want to speak about you after two whole years of silence.
The apple’s flesh has softened,
But I feed it to myself in the way I’ve learned to lately, in the way I mother myself,
Chewing around the great void in the shape of your name
While the woman on screen sheds a single, pretty tear.
Last night, my building was on fire.
The old women on the sidewalk said, “there will be deaths tonight”
In breathless half-thrilled tones
And later I was almost sick on the subway.
The tulips on the windowsill are a little less dead
When every five minutes I glance back at them.
Like a very slow timelapse, I think,
And then I remember that’s just time.
That’s just regular time.
There are three ways to reheat an omelette.
Full disclosure: the first method will yield disappointing results.
Slip the chilled sliver of egg onto a plate
And cover it with a damp paper towel, perplexed,
And slide it with some chagrin into your microwave
And set it for two—no, one and a half—no, one-and-a-quarter minutes.
Take it out sooner, concerned by the sounds.
Burn your toast.
Think, this really isn’t so bad,
And change the water in your dead tulips.
When I told you I wanted to leave, the sun was in my eyes. There were bugs in my hair.
I had dirt and dirt and dirt under my nails.
I’m settling into my new routine nicely.
I like to have my mornings, I say, I’m a morning person now.
I like to sit with my tea and look out the window and think,
What does everyone hate pigeons so much for anyhow.
Is there actually anyone who hates pigeons
Or is that a myth, like
Like once a flower is dead you can never bring it back.
It’s Saturday, which I remember is supposed to mean something
Is supposed to Mean Something
It’s Saturday! Come on, it’s Saturday!
I’ve written a to-do list, small and neat on the fridge
And I have my walk to get in. There’s my steps to think about.
I take out the garbage.
The sun really is so beautiful. It really is so nice for October.
The second method, the stovetop, makes you feel like you’re actually Doing Something, at least.
You think, at least I’m actually doing something.
I made this omelette in the skillet
And now I’m heating it back up in the skillet
And that must make sense in some full-circle kind of way.
Heat it on low, covered, glancing at the clock.
Take it out impatient and ignore that it’s lukewarm, slightly too firm.
Microwave feels like cheating, anyway.
Sometimes I think about searching your name with ‘obituary’ tacked on the end, just in case.
That is how silent you are to me, how gone, how Nowhere.
Maybe I don’t want to talk about you after all.
Maybe I just want to remember you were there.
Maybe I am still resisting the truth I was so surprised to learn
That I am so, so happy without you.
Fresh water really does do the trick, you know. Really does help.
Did you know that if you watch your life happening very carefully
It plays out kind of like a timelapse, but slower
Like, just regular time.
There was a fire, yes,
But the tulips are at full attention now
And the smell of smoke is barely even there.
This really isn’t so bad, I think.
When places catch fire, there are all sorts of awful smells
But I’m a morning person
Who names her plants
And I feed myself softening apples
And I chew my food
And I will think about you for a weekend
And then my tulips will die again
And the business of being obstinately alive will tuck you back into the void.
There’s my steps to think about.
Thirdly, you can reheat your leftover omelette in the oven.
Objectively the best way, but the slowest. Slower means you tried harder, did better.
I like to have my long mornings anyway;
I’ve become very good at long mornings, at forgetting about things, like email and to-do lists.
Anyway, cover the oven-safe vessel with a tinfoil lid
And bake the omelette low and slow in the oven
And be very, very patient.
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