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What Once Was:Amber Castellanos


Aged wooden chairs in the summer of 2011

gnarled with antiqueness and crayon stains

I can still find them if I look hard enough

colored encrusted sticks of wax sped

in little hands as warmth sizzled on the stove

Rumbles of stomachs and the whining of oil

chicken slapped with little green speckles

and spices

worn, delicate, quick hands plopped them in

I remember the sound of soft meat hitting metal

It was my job to get out

the plates and silverware

Brother handled the napkins and took out his ketchup

Sister sat looking pretty

youth always has its advantages and still does

Grandma cleaned the table

with a wet rag still smelling of breakfast

the same one she used to kill the flies that came to feast as well

The way a towel should be used

our accidental masterpieces are wiped off in watercolor dance

Biscuits are pulled from the oven

Quickly covered in a flower-printed towel

placed inside a ceramic bowl

aside butter or jam, depending on one’s liking

I still prefer both

Sunset paints the windows

Like it still does decades away

As a grilled mountain placed before us

Little tounges lick lips

We sit and engulf in amen.

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