by Ange Mlinko
Three mini ciabattini for breakfast
where demand for persnickety bread is small, hence its expense, hence my steadfast recalculation of my overhead,
which soars, and as you might expect
the ciabattini stand in for my fantasy of myself in a sea-limned prospect, on a terrace, with a lemon tree…
Not: Assessed a fee for rent sent a day late.
Not: Fines accrued for a lost library book. Better never lose track of the date. Oversleep, and you’re on the hook.
It’s the margin for error: shrinking.
It’s life ground down to recurrence. It’s fewer books read for the thinking the hospital didn’t rebill the insurance;
the school misplaced the kids’ paperwork.
Here’s our sweet pup, a rescue which we nonetheless paid for, and look: he gets more grooming than I do.
When I turn my hand mill, I think of the dowager
who ground gems on ham for her guests; the queen who ground out two cups of flour on the pregnant abdomen of her husband’s mistress;
I think of a “great rock-eating bird”
grinding out a sandy beach, the foam said to be particulate matter of minute crustaceans, each
brilliantly spooning up Aphrodite
to Greek porticoes, and our potatoes, and plain living which might be shaken by infinitesimal tattoos.
Ange Mlinko is the author of three books, “Shoulder Season” (Coffee House Press, 2010), “Starred Wire” (Coffee House Press, 2005), which was a National Poetry Series winner in 2004 and a finalist for the James Laughlin Award, and “Matinees” (Zoland Books, 1999).