Rebecca Foust


I made soup tonight, with cabbage, chard 
and thyme picked outside our back door.  
For this moment the room is warm and light, 
and I can presume you safe somewhere. 
I know the night lives inside you. I know 
we made mistakes, dividing you, and hiding                  
you from you inside. I know a trans girl 
was knifed last week, another set aflame,
and that these things happen all the time.  
I know I lack the words, or all the words 
I say are wrong. I know I’ll call, and you 
won’t answer, and still I’ll call. I want to tell you  
you are loved with all I have, recklessly, 
and with abandon, loved the way the cabbage 
in my garden near-inverts itself, splayed
to catch each last ray of sun. And how 
the feeling furling-in only makes the heart 
more dense and green. Tonight it seems like 
something one could bear. 

Guess what, Dad and I finally figured out Pandora, 
and after all those years of silence, our old music 
fills the air. It fills the air, and somehow, here, 
at this instant and for this instant only
—perhaps three bars—what I recall equals all I feel, 
and I remember all the words. 

First published in American Academy of Poets Poem-A-Day.