Bread

We walk out for the view,
a mug of Irish tea and the paper,
to celebrate the old miracles:
the crust of the Hogback, red as brick,
even with the weather coming in,
its gnarled ridges alongside the new grass,
the gun-blue lake
filling and emptying.

Heat and water and milled earth
did this landscape’s cooking.
You weren’t thinking of them
when you baked this morning,
mixing seed and the almond flour,
made a well and poured the liquid in,
paid no attention to the other magic —
that’s a poet’s job:
those massive ridges buckling in the fire,
or the snowmelt topping up
the bowl of the reservoir
they submerged a whole town for,
drowned the trees
and the everyday miracles of memories /
a weathered sign
is all that’s left of Stout.

Your bread sits by the window, cooling,
beaten and belching,
and breathing out.

Soufflé

When I was a kid
in love with a girl
I took a bus to New York City
and there remember
only two things
she didn’t thrill by stepping
in the room.

It dumped eight inches of rain
into the Holland Tunnel.
And then safe in her
New Jersey home,
in an empty kitchen,
I made a soufflé
with whatever was about —
whatever.

There was some cheese.
People came and went.
Some flour.
Her parents were divorcing.
Some butter, all abandoned:
the refrigerator
was a time capsule,
a locker of remembered love.

Everyone ignored me,
and that was just.
It was she, only she, anyway.
The soufflé had a crust,
sweet-strange as a metaphor.

I sat at the kitchen table,
the rain dry,
the roads winding unimportantly,
and ate the whole perfect
thing.