A few years ago, I peeled a star anise into shreds by the same Indiana river

I used to dream as a kid would swallow me up in a bath of chocolate milk.

Sitting down to dinner tonight, I fixed a salad, plucked mint from its stem

while you set the knives together so they touched at the tip.

If family is a bridge from myself to my mother’s mother, let’s be bridge builders in reverse

so all-of-a-sudden the water moves backwards, turns to spiced milk at the bed where we meet for a stiff drink.