The Drawer Marked Meats

A bedtime story about Bluebeard
all the wives on meat hooks
then wake up
and the house is dark.

is a gift from mother —
the way she grabbed
our collar bones, said:

get inside. We had the house
to ourselves, kept our eyes
glued to the television set.
Our hearts

we put in the ice box
not like psychopaths but like poets
to preserve the crimson imagery
the slender metaphor

of love and its chambers.
In the middle of the night
we open the door, and the light goes on
when we’re so hungry

and the cold red beating
is all there is to eat.


Cover of TLR's "Refigerator Mothers" issue

Poems and translations by Lisa Allen Ortiz have appeared in Best New Poets 2013, Beloit Poetry Journal and Duende. She’s the author of two chapbooks: Turns Out and Self Portrait as a Clock. Honestly, in her refrigerator she mostly just has vegetables, almond milk and some leftover quinoa salad.

“The Drawer Marked Meats” was published in Refrigerator Mothers (TLR, Fall 2010).