Friday, January 30, 2015

Toast with Butter

Toast with Butter        

Frannie Zellman

(To the memory of my grandma, Helen Glaser)

Saturday was a warm shade of yellow
and the plate of porcelain fruit on the wall

and the people in their kitchen
we could see
across the alley.

When you spread butter
on toast,
you would send the knife
in slow, precise strokes
as if you or the knife
were wake-dreaming.
You'd pick the toast up slowly
and chew each bite
with just a little butter
getting on the same spot
above your lip every time.
I'd wipe it each time,
making you laugh
and blink,
your hazel eyes
smiling into my dark unsettled ones
as if butter indeed melted in your mouth:
just a tiny spot
on your chin.

And the people in their kitchen
looked back at us
across the alley
almost but not quite
in a smile.

I think you knew them a little.

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