Ode to Wanda’s Apron
by Dana Trupa
—after Carl Phillips
in the kitchen, Wanda straightens her blouse and ties a knot in her apron.
Today is Sunday.
I am ready for my chocolate egg. She walks slowly towards me I see her rouged
corpse and how they paint her—
red cheeks, red lips, red blouse. My grandma, the reddest grandma.
And I, seated on a barstool near the stove.
The chocolate egg is wrapped in colorful foil, tucked inside a wing of the icebox.
She takes a butter knife (the best part) slices through the foil, through the chilled
marshmallow that surrounds a heart of gold. I am the only one
at a magic show
as she pulls the matching halves apart revealing the insides.
I love the replication of the real inside the unreal.
she instructs me, so patiently pulling the corpse of a cooked ham apart. After
she says: When you’re done, toss the bone in, they’ll lap it up like blood-
The hunger, for her return, when she doesn’t.
Some nights, when it’s time to pray, we play crazy 8’s in the parlor:
queen of hearts, ten of clubs,
guards our pot of soup. The split egg on either side of our plates as if each half
the yolk of a happier ending. Widow Old Maid
part silence part fear
I stare at her hologram and inhale Chanel No. 5.
our fingers touching
in a giant bowl of soaked navy beans, smooth and round the way fear moves
through a body— slowly, softly