4 Uses of a 4 qt. Pyrex

It’s like this: you leave
the muskrat carcass
under a glass bowl
in the yard, hoping
that the ants will take
what they need &
leave you the perfect
skeleton. But you
have second thoughts.
You don’t want to impose,
don’t want the ants
to feel observed. Eventually,
you get distracted.
Come back to the bowl
too late & find you can’t
lift the rim from the earth
without being bitten,
ants eclipsing any answers
offered in the bones.
It’s like this: you’re
the youngest so you get
the fewest cards, the fewest
shots to reach the bowl
across the living room.
Your arms are too weak.
You haven’t broken
them yet. You haven’t
thrown the punch, pushed
the truck off the interstate,
lit every pilot light
at once, dug the grave.
So instead you tuck
the cards in your pockets.
Stiff glossy promise
that for now you’ll wager
on growing up. Fold &
unfold until the flimsy king
can be drawn & quartered
with just a tug. It’s like this:
a bowl of vinegar & water
will soak the tarnish
from your grandfather’s
silver chain. You need
only boil the same to poach
an egg. You know this.
Watch the dark flakes
settle to the bottom.
Gather the whites softly
with a swirl. You swear
you won’t let it get
this dirty again. You swear
that you won’t break
the yolk. You know now
how to hold your wrist.


Marina Greenfeld is a poet and editor from Southwest Florida and Central North Carolina. Her work has been published by or is forthcoming in DIAGRAM, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Hoxie Gorge Review, Okay Donkey, and others, and she was the 2023 Diann Blakely National Poetry Prizewinner and the 2022 Product Magazine Poetry Prizewinner. Marina lives, grad schools, and sells books in Oxford, Mississippi.