• Casey Cantrell

On the First Time We Had Lunch Together

For M.M.




One month after she broke up with me

I sat across from you

Eating chicken tikka masala and rice

Wrapped in a tortilla


You had butter chicken and naan

And a diet coke

(I would learn later that you

Didn’t like rice)


I couldn’t finish my food—it was too much

I hadn’t eaten

Like that since she

Left me


Two years later I’d slip a note

Inside a book

I gave you that you still

Haven’t opened


I figured this would happen—I joked

In my note that you

Wouldn’t find it for maybe a decade

Or longer


I know you’ll find it someday

You’ll pull

The book from your shelf

And read


And the note will tumble onto your lap

Like a fruit

Grown from seeds you never knew

You planted