The Door Opens
to see my husband
in the doorway,
his spine curving like a birch
in a forest leaning toward the light
or arched like the pillar of a harp.
These days, I lean on him lightly.
Age bends us to its will.
I well up with loving him.
His arms are filled
Hannah Cohen and I used to sneak
up the stairway above Central Deli to The Palace,
one of the first Chinese restaurants in Far
Rockaway, and order two from Column A, two from B.
We ate the non-kosher food so fast we burnt
our tongue on wonton noodles dipped in fiery
mustard and scarfed down egg rolls while the outer wraps
still sizzled, then scalded our lips with boiling tea.
Our fingers and chins were shiny with spare rib
grease. Shrimp with tiny eyes eyed us, but we shut our eyes
and bit into their pink
flesh. We forced ourselves to leave leftovers.
The waiter would wrap them in foil
shaped like swans that we never dared
bring into our kosher homes,
and we had to ditch the mini
paper umbrellas that embellished each dish.
An hour later, our bellies
were still full.