The Kitchen as a Sanctuary

It really did feel like he was coming home.

This is the kind of poetry I could never write. I have no correct grammar, no confabulation, none enough to grab hold of this condition. It really felt like he was coming home. But since then, since that year, and that missed opportunity, it didn’t bother me that much anymore. I realize he’s always been here.

 

The last time I heard his voice was a brittle and gentle warning, brittle because I could hear him shatter, gentle because he offered assurance. Believing anything was real at that point was impossible- But I stayed on the phone despite the noise from the engine, the rain, and the distant chatters I tried to manage. The weight of that evening grew a tumor in my mind, one that I tried my hardest to shake off. I could not handle anything that was happening around me: Not the sunset, not the cold and not that phone call. Everything felt like it happened at the wrong place and wrong time, but I’m glad I heard his voice. I think that was all that really mattered.

 

A few years have passed now and he visits my dreams sometimes, but when I’m awake I see him in the experience of others. Everyone loved to reminisce his big stories of watching the night sky panning to day, and remembering all the things he had to smile about. But no one else felt him in the kitchen the way I did. I heard him, not in the clanking of pans and the knives, and not the sealed glass at the window panes; I heard him in every forgotten egg, every mistaken 2:1 ratio, in too much water and too little water- I’ve seen him in the veins of burnt kettles and in the void between the misplaced plates.

 

There’s just something about remembering him and the many mistakes I made, which he corrected, that makes him a comfortable thought. Continuing his grace was my obligation, and therefore I must admit there is no greater joy than getting his recipes right. The kitchen is one thing I promise: I will cook to my heart’s content. No forgotten egg, no mistaken ratio, never too much of this and never too little of that. And it will always be because he has always been here.

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