Thursday, September 11, 2008


(He must have had a hard day again today, I can hear his footfalls on the pavement. Sometimes he runs harder, panting. Other days he passes silently.)

It is dark.

We are the only ones up at this hour. Us and the man with the key to the city. He always opens the door for me. He won't take my money.

He will take a danish. Without the glaze.

I flip the switch on the ancient oven before I turn on the light. The extra seconds count. It whines in protest. I scold it gently.

Be good to me today.

I am hypnotized by the slapping of the dough. It hits the sides of the mixer, a violent sound in all this quiet.

I flour my bench.

Today I shall think about the things I don’t want to think about-its easier when my hands are busy.

I pinch a piece of dough out of the mixer. Kneed it in my fingers.

Intention vs Intent.

I make the window pane. What lies beyond is hazy.

She sits in the bucket behind me, protesting. She is hungry.

I'll feed the bitch later.

Later, later.

The dough is perfect today.

I knead with purpose, make the round, and as I cover her to rest I list my mistakes.

Intention vs Action.

Now I know the recipe by heart. I understand the cryptic code of those before me. The water may not be enough, it may be too much, you must watch, you must trust.


I still don't trust my own power, my alchemy. For now he still comes to watch.

Soon I will be left alone, with the oven and the bitch.

Soon they will line up to get whatever they can, as much as I can make.

Soon they will marvel at my crust, speak of my hand and how only I can make that taste.

The one that reminds them.

For now, he stands beside me and we work in comfortable silence, broken only by the slap and skid of dough on flour.

As you sleep, the yeast gives life.

As you sleep, I make the rounds.

As you sleep, I shape the bread.

As you sleep

I list my mistakes and think as only busy hands can.

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