Wisconsin

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Help set the table they say
Get the boys from upstairs and tell them dinner is ready
It is, almost. I carry the steaming tray of cooked potatoes doused in honey to the table
The hot buttery air wafting from the plate warms my face
I set it between the grilled salmon, blanketed in warm lemon butter sauce,

and the tomato pesto penne
I eye the pizza at the end of the table, imagining its soft charcoaled crust beneath the thick and melted cheese
We eat loudly
Chews crunches swallows slurps and laughs
For the sake of tradition we each recount past memories here
It’s the same every year
These stories are a part of me. They grow with my bones
My hair
And we never fail to recount them all
The echoic chronicles inscribed in our skin
We gnaw at the corn cobs like rabbits
The slippery salty surface, just before the bite.
Snap, then crunch. Snap, crunch
Butter coats my tongue, the insides of my mouth.
I am ravenous
From my chair the lake faces me, this picture so sharp in my mind,
Still fresh like whipped cream and strawberries.
The moon ripples in the black water
The same moon I saw a year ago, right here. Five years ago
Ten
After dinner, we watch movies under blankets
and melt into the cushiony embrace of the couch
With our cold creamy milkshakes.
With milkduds, the caramel sweetly glued to the roofs of our mouths
and in the crevices of our molars
Here, from my cocoon of sleep and warmth
of sunburns and full bellies
of heavy blankets and hazy thoughts
I see through the window the dozens of broken white moon shards
floating on the surface of the black water
I sleep lightly and happily. Like the airy whipped cream on my apple pie
Like sugary clouds





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