Sweet Monster

My husband gone
I raid the fridge, she says.
Not to eat but to pare.
He is happiest when it is full.
I toss out instead
past dated eggs, old olives,
a month-old splash of milk.

Cat food — tossed.
I keep dry vermouth,
muscular carrots,
whole grain bread.
When I am finished
the refrigerator breathes.

I miss him terribly,
but when I walk in
the kitchen is calm.

On the north seat,
the tabby, the young one,
watches me,
quiet without him.
She opens her belly to the sun.

She is my loneliness, too:
sweet monster,
sitting peaceful in my chest,
stretching in the big bed,
purring at the breaking light.

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