pickle jar apology
Because gratitude is finite and because
apparently, there was never remorse to start with,
what I get instead is handed a jar of pickles.
I sit on the floor in front of everyone. I accept
because I am on a floor
and it is in front of everyone.
I eat and am silent. The muscle brines.
I would have preferred them
the afternoon the birdwatcher showed us how to look,
When he tasted the way leaves do
if they’re new and sliced through
by sun or fingernails. A week after
and I sat at the rocky bottom of a creek
for a long time.
I listened to birdcalls. It was warm
and green, with pebbles for my fists;
the smallest were grit under my fingernails.
Alone in a motel room, nowhere,
I had a jar too.
They forgot to give me towels
but no one was around to see me drip
so it didn’t really matter.
I swept snow angels in a queen-sized bed
It smelled so clean and good I wanted to die
It was so empty when I reached my arms
under the heavy comforter covering the unslept side.
It took four hours to open
the jar on the kitchenette counter.
The whiskey helped, which I don’t always say.
I cried, but also, I did it.