I Can Only Bake Bread


I Can Only Bake Bread

for him
so I will
warm the kitchen
perfectly for proofing
like old lovers
who know
the best place
for rising.

I will wear my red sundress
in my humid kitchen
it fits as if
I was a girl
hungry and wild
baking bread.

I will sift the flour slowly
between fingers
the grain’s touch
soft as the boy dander
between every one
of his stories.

I will watch
the yeast release
and listen to its sigh
gleeful to feed
on the sweetness
I provide.
The tiny bubbles

I will knead
the dough like
sore shoulders
needing to stretch
expand; my aged hands
soothed with the give
and take of this
bounce, this life
a reprise.

I will wake the bread
a few times
from a doze
as deep as a lover’s
sleep on messy sheets.
It will be pleased to receive
the push and pull
and then another
nap. Almost

I will at last bake
this loaf, caress its
firm skin, a soft pat
grateful and
hollow.  I am already
eyeing the butter
already the jelly,
as I push the pan
into the heat.

I will put the memories
away, the measuring
cups, the missing him.
Licking my fingers
I reach to fetch
escaped poppy seeds
hiding like a lover’s stubble
I’ll put them
in my pocket.

I will color
my lips with raspberry
jam as I imagine
the first taste
of this old love.
This loss.
This is all
I can do.
This bread.

Photo by Nadya Spetnitskaya on Unsplash

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