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.