Sometimes I Feel Eternal

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An invisible woman is ordinary everywhere.
—James Ducat

what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
—2 Corinthians 4:18

I see across three thousand miles
the cookbook shelf, the holder of my mom's
lifetime in recipes. 

I took the recipes and my sister kept the shelf,
distant as the husband I have not found, and I

left with one more piece of longing
sealed in a Ziploc bag, cloistered
in my kitchen drawer. For every
potluck I shuffle through

her instructions
written by hand

now rotting and cold:
the gravy teardrop stains
on the cards, the ink outlive her,

the heat of the oven rises
the cards ache to be home
the shelf waits to be filled. 

—Lisa Cheby, Los Angeles, CA