The lazy susan in the corner cabinet of my childhood kitchen was blonde wood,
smooth and slick,
like your hair in the shower after you run conditioner through it.
There were nicks in places
where my brother and I had fought as children,
and faint, barely perceptible stains,
from when I’d spilt milk
or cracked an egg the wrong way.
Sometimes when I was bored I liked to spin
the circular shelves of the lazy susan
round and round,
slowly, laboriously, then quickly—
speeding up so that things fell out.
I could take things, too,
that were never missed:
plastic cups of apple sauce or pudding,
which I would savor slowly.
But there was one thing I never touched—
the aging, blood-red jar of bruschetta
in the back corner
of the top shelf.
It was a foreign immigrant in my kitchen,
and I examined the chunks of mashed tomatoes,
and the flecks of green spices
with curious wonder.
The glass jar was a microscope into a mysterious world
full of long-dead plants and decaying vegetables.
But glass often distorts things,
so I can’t be sure
of I was really looking at.