Among multitudes
of flavors you remain
my favorite—soda cracker
sodium-dusted love.

I ate you dipped in milk
beside my mother
her ulcers calmed by
your cool, sodden softness.
She ate them for medicine.
I ate them to be with her.

No notion of what ulcers
looked like or where they came
from, just her words—it hurts,
it will get better
and I believed her.

We sat on the sofa, silent
only the sound of crinkly
wax paper wrapping, pulling
each cracker out. When she
dipped, I dipped and both sucked
the milk out, slurped,
smiled with matching white

One day, no more crackers
and milk, no more us in sync
with fingers, with elbows
bending to open mouths, no
more milky smiles like we
shared the secret of salt’s power
to heal.

Now, tasting my tears
lets me taste us. Salt water—
three-fourths of this earth,
yet when a body dies, they say
it’s dust to dust, not salt to salt.

Cell by cell, we all dissipate, weep
into our watery Mother.