Expiration Date from Issue 94
“From 1946 to 1973, more than 350 people
died in abandoned refrigerators.”
—The Boston Globe
I never thought I’d die like this, trapped
inside an unplugged Frigidaire, not after
all the warnings we’d heard as kids
about the air-tight seal, the hidden latch
only the outer handle disengaged.
“Trust me, love,” you said, so I got in.
Now my nose and lips and fingertips
are black; my lungs are full of bloody froth.
Monstrous, love made me monstrous.
I see that now. I understand. Don’t worry
that I suffered much: the panic and panting
lasted maybe half an hour. Then I blacked out.
I ‘m sorry you looked before you left:
rictus, clenched fists, my bulbous eyes
imply an anger I could never feel.
Instead of them remember this: the heart
of an asphyxiate beats on, harder and faster,
for several minutes after breathing stops,
the way mine always did waiting for you.