Tastes like cardboard,
you say, face scrunched,
wistful of a mother’s recipe
you haven’t yet mastered.

I swallow my offense:
this may be the last time
I hear it; your voice.

Stacked by the front door with my fellow fallen
our frayed edges fluttering in the burst of cold
each time you pass.

If I were to speak of taste,
I would tell you of damp paper, your childhood drawings
filling my corners with mildew dreams.

Once, I was a magic carpet, Pandora’s
hope, a portal away.

Now, your conversation turns to leases, graduation,
a long-term job—

of no longer being
boxed in.