macaroni microwave dinner
by Leigh Corrigan

the box says it takes three minutes to cook

as i pull my little black tray from the microwave
it still looks like goldfish trapped in ice
i stare at them on my counter and try to stir with my plastic fork
instead, i stab the noodles, break my fork

the shiny red box has forgotten that we bought this
1970s microwave from the back of a junk shop for 8 dollars
it was clean enough, and we'd just moved in
"sometimes you just need a microwave"
you told me, carrying the thing under one arm
and mine in the other

forks back then were metal

i don't think i believed you
we didn't even like old pizza in the microwave
we cooked everything
you teaching me about pots that scratched
and spatulas that didn't melt
i mixed the margaritas
you hung the pot rack
we danced with socked-feet on wooden floors

it sat for months, untouched and still clean

and now i know what you meant
the humm of this old microwave
its sticking door, and dirty tray
and the beeps of reminder
as if i could forget my single serving

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