She says all things must come to pass,
and the truth, I find, is nothing lasts
beyond the date of expiration,
like the milk that went unopened,
and spoiled quickly into yogurt.
Something died within that carton–
Time we knew must have been borrowed,
but had not yet turned, not yet expired,
from her womb as with the child.
She told me school was not for her,
too full of rules and daft equations,
things that outgrew all comprehension
complex things hardly worth a mention
or the attention spent on sleepless nights
made more restful after crying.
Was it that dreams too expire?
That she was never born a mother?
And after the baby she’d already named
was expired from her shape,
that things too meaningless for tears
no longer felt the same?
I wonder now what I could have saved
and I think of her when I see red
(The color of expired fate), in the toilet,
on the bed. Something died and was forgotten–
A love we knew must have been borrowed,
loans for joy, and debts for sorrow,
drawers of medicine and cotton.
My hope is that the numbing sugars
sweeten the clouds over the cliffs of the journey,
and just as the milk is always turning,
that thoughts won’t sour, my heart returning
to an absence filled by its own void,
like a furnace full of rain.
So I wonder if you think of me
when you discover spoiled milk.
The milk from we found hidden in the fridge,
some months after the spill.
All in life is expectation
as we serve what is concealed.
All in life is expiration:
Blue ink stamped on a seal.