It begins with hunger.
Your hands plunge into the freezer
and pull out the bag
you bought at Kroger six months ago.
Each orange leg
frosted with ice.
You arrange them on a baking sheet.
After fifteen minutes in the oven
you drain the water.
This process repeats and repeats
and when the ritual is done
you put them in your favorite blue popcorn bowl.
You crack the legs open,
consume the meat within.
It’s juicy and plump and white.
It reminds you of when you were young
how all the best things in the world are full and satisfying:
10 years old, the red tomato juice runs down your naked chest
as you bite into its skin.
You watch the yard: green and expansive.
In the garden your grandfather planted herbs.
Blackbirds flit and flounce from feeder
to fountain to telephone wire.
Across the way
the cottonwoods shimmer.
The underbellies of their leaves wave to you.
You’re never sure if it’s a salutation of hello
Rori Meyer is a writer and teacher who lives in Grand Rapids, MI. Her work has previously appeared in Superstition Review and Pine Hills Review, and is forthcoming in Jelly Bucket.