Kevin Brown

v. — to be exceedingly sparing, especially with food

I remember a time when we had copious
amounts of cuisine; luxurious
lunches, course after course coming
from the kitchen, seemingly lasting

for days—starting with steaming soups,
fresh French onion or broccoli and cheddar
before moving to the main dish, salmon,
lightly seared, with sweet soy sauce or even
a simple sandwich, ham or turkey shavings piled

high as clouds, with lettuce as crisp as our
conversation, a tomato to add tartness.
There were no breakfasts in bed, as you woke

early to discover what delicacy I had created,
whether I had whipped eggs into an omelet,
mushrooms and peppers, vegetables from our
garden, or had prepared pancakes, stacked solidly

with whole wheat, blueberries and walnuts
for taste and texture. But perhaps I am exaggerating
my culinary skills; perhaps we never had a pantry
of plenty, that our suppers were simple—two or three
spears of asparagus and a few frozen fish
sticks—but we were never hungry, somehow

always able to eat our fill. But now,
now the stove is cold, the refrigerator
contains only a carton of out-of-date sour

cream and three bottles of beer,
all half-drunk, our pots and pans
rust, and we go to bed without dinner day
after day after day.

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