• Sarah Van Arsdale

April 11, 2022

Prompt at Peter’s suggestion.



On Organizing the Kitchen Cupboards



They weren’t as sticky as I’d feared

except that swath under the honey.

(And why do we have two jars, one a tiny bear,

each half-filled?)


It’s all the rest that’s daunting:

the handful of lentils

scrunched into a plastic bag,

an assortment of crackers, stale,

the mysterious box of cookies,

labeled in a language

unfamiliar to us both.

Czech?

A tiny jar of blue caviar.


Caviar, really?

On seeing it, I think: it’s Yves Klein Blue,

something I never would have known

if that therapy group I was in,

twenty years ago,

hadn’t met in the home of one of our members,

the wealthy art collector

after the therapist died.

The art collector’s Plexiglas coffee table

was filled with powder so richly blue

I longed to run my hands through it.

It was mostly ultramarine.

Yves Klein Blue, he’d said it was.

He didn’t mention the price. Later, I looked online,

astounded.


He said, this very rich man,

in his huge apartment at Columbus Circle,

that when his wife was dying

he’d hired a chef to live in

and cook for her, whenever

her appetite revived. This helped,

a little,

for a little while.


He taught me that the rich aren’t like you and me,

but some of them know this,

and that makes them much easier to like.


Money can’t buy everything,

he said, weeping,

but it really makes things easier.

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