Issue Thirty-Eight - Summer 2021

I Learn to Appreciate Soft Butter on Our Vacation

By Louisa Muniz

Being brave in rain is not easy. When it stops
I find an outdoor cafe near the hospital.

Running back & forth to see you
hooked up to beeping buzzing machines
is a heft of stone in my chest.

The waiter sets butter packets on the table.
I smile. Remember what you always say,

If I owned a restaurant I’d never serve hard butter.
It’s impossible to spread.
My phone reads 11:11

a sign the universe conspires in my favor.
Under the table the birds converge on the crumbs.
Amy Winehouse sings the blues through the speakers.

Since I’ve come home my body’s been a mess.
I’ve missed your ginger hair, the way you like to dress.

The lady behind me swoons into her phone,

Anthony, it’s so beautiful here, you would love it.
The island air contracts in my throat.
When the sky opens, collected sunlight ushers

the lilies to lift. I daydream you are here
sitting in sun-polished butter-soft light.

Copyright Muniz 2021