Mark Trechock, “Imagining the Contents of the Last Refrigerator”

Deep in the second shelf

would rest four Tupperware bowls,
each a different size and pastel color,
containing leftovers that would never be eaten,
whose identification might require laboratory
testing, if only it were available.

On the east door, one aluminum can
of Schlitz beer, bulging at the top
as though it might erupt,
brought to a “What Do We Do Now?”
neighborhood gathering years ago,
by a man who talked very loud
about the arsenal of weapons and ordnance
in his double garage, where eventually
he used it on himself.

In the west door, once next to the stove,
an empty aerosol Reddi-Whip can,
a plastic tub licked clean of margarine,
three still sticky plastic squeeze bottles
of competing brands of barbecue sauce.

In the crisper, one potato, shriveled,
sending out root tubers in search
of new soil and its nutrients,
and resembling a talisman which might
yet prove suitable for the kind
of magical incantation
that looks like our best hope.

Finally, on the top rack, an orange box
of Arm and Hammer baking soda,
guaranteed to prevent unpleasant odors
for thirty days.




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