I once asked
if you’d jump into a pickle jar
to save your life.
Since you weren’t here when I emerged, I assume
you couldn’t bring yourself to do it.
You are no longer here to unscrew brass lids
I never could do myself,
no longer here to eat the onions off my hamburgers,
or kiss the vinegar off my tangy lips.
I’ve tried to rinse the salt off
taking countless showers
till my skin wrinkled like California raisins.
Still, I can’t help but imagine that I look better
than you rotting in your grave, face splotched
like onions in the compost pile.
What if the jar leaks? you said.
What if the coffin collapses? I said.
I won’t feel it, you said.
You won’t feel it, I said.
They no longer sell pickles in jars
in the super markets,
glass has gone the way of tin.
I must admit, I can’t seem to find my way
in this world, and not just because you’re not in it.
I should have heeded the warnings
on all the pickle jars, on your shriveled lips.
In the very end:
Do not buy if seal is popped
Do not accept if glass is broken
Deborah Rocheleau has writings published by Tin House, 100 Word Story, and Brainchild, among others