Cynthia Guardado


Emptying Your Apartment the Day after Christmas

In memory of Doris Salguero

Kneeling in front of your open refrigerator

I reach for your wilted lettuce its leaves break

against my skin. I place it gently into the trash

bag next to me, hope if I’m careful this will feel

like less of a waste. Your gallon of milk sits next

to three-week old quesadillas still packaged

by your mother from El Salvador. Vapor escapes

the rubber seals of tupperware, I dispose food

you thought you’d have time to eat. Mold extends

onto everything. I fill the trash bag, stare at the

refrigerator’s light reflecting upon its own emptiness.

I carry this bag of fragments into the garage–– linger

in the concrete chill. The door opens against the sun

pressing my shadow onto this soured ground.