Stay Away

I recall the manapua,
my favorite steamed char siu buns,
half-moons and pork hash.
The box half full or half empty?

When that vision comes, rushes my mind at odd moments,
waiting for an order at Island Manapua, usually, I do
appreciate the recall of her face, then instantly regret
that moment from the prodding, plodding past, when I picture
the beaten-up old box, how I ended up eating what I could
over many days, then throwing the stale other half away.

You hated it, inexplicably appeared to despise me
for bringing it over, this horrid surprise for lunch.

You asked what was in the box; I opened it and showed you.  

The look you gave me shriveled my nuts.

Then those words that will make manapua so often unappetizing now.

Why did you buy that? Why didn’t you ask me what I wanted for lunch? I don’t want any. Take it with you when you go.

And I went, and so it goes.

I love seeing her split-second face from back when we were
young and trying to make love work for us somehow.

But the vision simply won’t stop right there with that beautiful flash-photo.

It’s always a movie that rolls on,
and that look reeling me,
those words cutting me,
the taste of manapua turned to cinders in my mouth.

Beyond that brief instant when an image of you shoots through my thoughts,
I’m so sorry to say there’s never a time I don’t wish you’d just stay away.

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