Most women give their love
like warm maple syrup poured over a frozen waffle;
Steam rising from every valley while tiny ice crystals thaw.
But her love bubbled over, boiling,
and it seemed to cook me to a crisp—
even before she touched me;
My own skin, raw like sausage casing, filling out under her grip.
This is when I knew
would be staying for breakfast almost every morning—
from then on.
Coffee, hot and black, with a splash of cream.
Talking soft over frenzied whisking of egg whites,
under wafts of last night’s nicotine.
She really knew how to put me to work in the kitchen,
fastening that lacey apron like a pardon from the governor.
“My, how they trick you,” I said, five years later—
while she fed her face, lumpy and gray, at the dining room table.
“Trick what?” she asked.
“Oh nothing, Dear. Just this carton of eggs.
If you don’t take the time
to inspect them at market,
you end up taking home one egg shy of a dozen,
and half of them already broke.”
“Well it’s your own fault for not looking, honey,” she said.
“I know, Dear. It always is.”
Just then her toast popped, gently burnt to the edge.
I did my best to fancy it up, spreading butter and strawberry jam;
Even a light dusting of powdered sugar. I set it in front of her beside the plate of scrambled eggs
“It’s burnt. I don’t want this. You let it stay in there too long.”
“I know just what you mean,” I said, putting on my long black coat.