In the Fridge

“Once I am sure there’s nothing going on
I step inside, letting the door thud shut.”
…………Philip Larkin, “Church-Going”

But plenty going on here,
where, for the first time,
I actually decide to climb in
as the light flicks on,
and join the containers.
Creating my own seasons, I’ve spent
autumn at the desk and follow
with a bracing kitchen winter
to check what’s happening in the fridge.
Anything new show up? we always joke.
No, but under the mechanical hum
is the din of lives held in suspension:
the shining container of yogurt
on the verge of overdoing itself;
celery going limp with fatigue
from crushing its own slumbering leaves;
fat sweaty milk struggling to keep sweet;
the long low salmon hidden in a lower drawer
caught on the way to spawn, mid-flash,
atremble with momentum.
I wish I’d brought a sweater
but wonder if there will be a next time.
I lay my hands and brow on the pickle jar
to hear the susurration of new enzymes
coming into being: breath of pork and lemon,
coffee grounds in acid splendor,
the thunderous pop as each ice cube is born.

Martha Hollander

Martha Hollander

Martha Hollander’s first book, The Game of Statues, won the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her work has appeared in many periodicals includingMississippi Review,The Southwest Review, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, The New Republic, and several anthologies. She is Professor of Art History at Hofstra University.She lives in Jackson Heights, New York.
Martha Hollander

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Author: Martha Hollander

Martha Hollander’s first book, The Game of Statues, won the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her work has appeared in many periodicals including Mississippi Review,The Southwest Review, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, The New Republic, and several anthologies. She is Professor of Art History at Hofstra University. She lives in Jackson Heights, New York.