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The bananas you bought when you left were ready to be bread before your return. I want to bake them for you, large loaves the size of a lap dog, miniature ones you could eat like a summer pear. The clocks in this kitchen make me anxious—their red tongues clicking at my waiting. The noon church bell shaking its head at my wine rituals. The way I pop the cork when I hear what I want to be your keys rattling at the door. Kitchen speckled with the shedding of a cork shoved back into a bottle too many times. I know I can count on these bananas not to leave. I know I can count bananas: three. They start to beg larger, sunken spots but who am I to make them go? The rot of them smells like vinegar and I thank them for making the home seem cleaner for your return. Apples shrivel, counter flowers wilt from the waves of ethylene gas the bananas toss around the kitchen. The stink of the flowers invites flies that I cup in my hands and help into the freezer for later when you come and I can show you how long you were gone. Let them leak into the kitchen as to say It was so long and you should know but it’s okay. The butter in the dish looks fine but I wonder if it’s suffering. Wonder if I’m just imagining the growing of the bruises on my knees. The knobs of the door seem okay too but I check them just to be sure.

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