Dinner For One

This poem won Editor's Choice in the 2015 2-Day Poem Contest

She had a strained relationship

    with appliances, circled like a satellite

 

around the kitchen, a wary traveler. The toaster

singed her fingers, spit sparks into the sink 

where she left three breasts soaking

    until her fingers could dig into pink flesh

 

and lodge raw chunks under her five-dollar manicure.

The refrigerator mirrored her body: crumbs

tucked along her crevasses, stains she couldn’t rub

    away, outlines of old photographs

 

like stencil marks on her surface. She cooked waffles

the colour of pyrite, the edges burnt and crusted,

and spent her mornings spitting charcoal from her throat.

    She roasted a ham, once, before the oven collapsed

 

in on itself, a black hole, the racks

like bones and the rust-skin curled around empty burners.

The ham was dry, though she faked 

 

flavour with a jar of apple jelly. Now, warranties lapsed,

she peels cans for her dinners, rips soft bread at breakfast,

    and eats alone at a table with settings for six.

Published online July 01 2015.

This poem was a winner in CV2’s annual 2-Day Poem Contest. Every April, CV2 challenges players to create a new original poem that uses all 10 words of our choosing. It’s poetry under pressure for prizes, publication, and personal bests. Learn how to sign up for the next 2-Day Poem Contest.