Andy and I sat on the concrete stoop,
South end of Columbus in the summertime,
Gravel crumbling on the step’s edges,
Marlboro and Kool butts tossed by the metal rail,
Our knees touching,
Her plump tanned gold leg next to my skinny fish-belly white leg,
Her pregnancy swollen ankle next to my bony bug-bitten ankle,
Hungry, but flat broke,
Our boyfriends shooting up the grocery money inside the house.
The Joy of Cooking open – one page on her lap and one on mine,
Reading out loud,
Our eyes watering with hunger,
Our stomachs complaining,
Smoking to forget our lack of food.
I’ve never cared much for green beans,
Preferring lima beans or sweet peas or eggplant,
But right then I wanted green beans with bacon,
Fresh green beans,
The kind that smelled of earth and growing and crunchiness,
Not stringy dirty green beans from the 10 cans for a dollar sale,
The bacon all salty — in meaty chunks,
Abundant on my tongue and in my mouth.
So we sat turning each page,
Wanting carrot cake and quiche,
Roast chicken all hot with juice running as we carved it open,
Our fingers touching the paper,
As we read each ingredient out loud,
Our stomachs hollow and legs pressed to one another,
Our eyes watering with hunger.