Her funeral priest spoke in general terms,
but we knew from experience that with two sticks of bread
Grandma made a fire of feast,
a little anise behind her ears,
dear roast held over obedient flame,
soup from the bones of leftover husbands,
sugared hands that sweetened the meal,
poisoned her own blood,
snow pudding melting in waves of green foam
on the tongue, custard avalanche behind.
Even small Arnold's slices at her breakfast table
morphed into something better than bread.
At Thanksgiving, perhaps, my mother won,
where my father, with his low drunk tolerance
for sentiment or hors d'oevres,
would rather have spit it out, destroying the evidence.
My mother and her own oven won a little those days.
It was a bird bigger than eagles in this world
that flew from our forks to paradise of stomachs,
then to the sewer's afterlife, and the journey
was olive sweet, cranberry bright, carnival shimmer
in the nut bowl's glory, crackers at rest.
And the bones rested after in a hot bath of boredom,
surrendering to noodles their last bit of light.