Dinner For One

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

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.