I am thinking about how much I like the word rotisserie
while you make me chicken soup with rice.

Because I have no appetite, and a 102 fever
you cook for me. I’ve taken my temperature so many times,
you’re starting to wonder if the thermometer is the catalyst.
But tested under your tongue it’s 98.1
And anyway, I’m no hypochondriac.

This morning, while you were at work,
I dragged my body from the bed to make toast.
Bones aching, scraping butter over white bread
then shaking cinnamon and sugar out of a spoon we got for our wedding.
This new silverware has such heavy handles; It’s always sliding off of our plates.
And catapulting food onto the carpet.

The cinnamon toast remind me of my mom,
making us after-school snacks.
This is a sweet symptom.

She will be glad when I mention you are cooking me soup.
Because she told you to have “at least one meal you can make well.”
And she told me, “Be careful. You’ll get stuck doing all the cooking.”

But you already know how to make mashed potatoes perfectly.
You have more experience than I with most meats,
and more practice with pancakes.

For example, last month, when my parents were out of town,
we went to the suburbs, where there is room to breathe,
and a room for my sister to live at home for a while
and a backyard to smoke out the last few nights of summer,
with a bonfire and barbecue chicken.

On Sunday morning, you slipped a note in Sharpie under my door,
because I’d accidentally fallen asleep with my sister.

“Good morning! There are pancakes!”

You have pretty bad handwriting.
(I’ll admit I wrote most of our wedding thank yous)
But you drew a cartoon sun with a smiling face,
And I’m not clearly doing all the cooking,
So I think we’ll be alright.

Caroline Higgins

Caroline Higgins (’11) lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she spends the vast majority of her time teaching English Language Arts. You may also find her at barre exercise classes or playing (and losing) at bar trivia. She continues to be inspired by the energy and diversity of New York City and the beauty of that certain slant of light.

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