Keep the feast; do not lose it
Samuel Kendall

Keep the feast.

Do not lose it.

Do not forget it on
your plate and drop
it in the trash can

or let it wash away
in the dishwasher,

full of so much
to offer your waking

Do not crumple it
and pocket it to
disintegrate in the
washing machine,

or leave it half
eaten on the
abandoned barbecue
grill to be taken
by the steamy
morning rain.

Keep it,
cupped in your small
hands, the spirit of a
full belly, and a full
belly laugh, your
uncle’s laugh,
which you may
never hear again.

Keep it,
in your late grandmother’s
jewelry box, the memory
of a conversation
on her memory,
all the family surrounding,
and not a dry eye to witness it.

Keep it,
in the ice box,
the last drip of an
ice cream cone falling
to the rough stone,
your friends all laughing,
the children all crying,
over it.

Open your hands.
Open the jewelry box.
Open the ice box.

And salivate over these
preserved marvels,
perfectly good.

And remember
that all answers
can be found in
your saliva. That
your eternity is

When you open
your mouth
to sing the praises
of the feasts of
evenings past,

your secrets hide
flat on your tongue,
and drip, thick
and stringy, full
of identity and full,
perhaps, of understanding,

to their quiet,