There’s soup on the stove simmering

and becoming soup, instead of just

lentils ham onions celery bay.

I’ve overheard you fighting, you

and your sweet shy girlfriend

behind closed doors—I don’t know

what will come of it, whether

this is the end of a year of young

silly stupid beautiful love, or

maybe just a rearrangement

of ingredients. I remember a night

when I was 18, my father picking

me up from a boy’s house;

I was sobbing it was

the end of the world, and that

wasn’t even untrue, a whole

world came to an end that night.

I was snotting and embarrassed

for my father who didn’t know

about the end of the world

or how girls cry from their bellies.

I hope I remember this, I hope

I know about the end of the world

I hope this soup helps

even just a little to make you

hurt less and settle your mind

into sleep tonight. Is it different,

between mothers and sons?

Did I make a mistake

in not raising you like a wolf?

I gave you cakes to bake

and acoustic instruments, philosophy

and fear. Maybe that’s all a parent

can do—make soup and pay

attention to the stock and the herbs—

and maybe that’s what

my father was doing, driving

me home, looking terrified.

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