Dinner Date

By the time your mother invited me over
and baked her famous blood casserole,
I had already invented the art of recycled
pain, jettisoning any hope that we would
have a normal love or even a normal day,

so it wasn’t weird when your mother–
a member of the Guilt of the Month Club,
standing there with oven-mitted hands,
offering us her family history baked into
savory strangeness, some relative of hers

gasping out culinary horror– spooned
giant heaps of the stuff onto our silvery plates,
and we ate dutifully, aware of the darkness
clotting our throats, making it hard to breath,
let alone swallow the years of agony in each bite.

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