At seventeen I count backwards twenty-eight days
and then fourteen more before I begin boiling parsley
at the blue flame of my parents’ two-top stove.
I wait silently, sip the rank tea by tablespoon,
let something sticky turn away from itself
I turn the handle and the door
Resists a moment before opening
Like a delicate jewelry box. Then in.
Scrub tops and striped sweaters hang
Empty, save for the wire-thin hangers
Like the frail shoulders they draped over
Just before the Christmas of '94.