Catastrophe on a Plate


Too much stuff around the hob,

too many things on my mind,

and all because the fine french beans

need simmering, but I muddle the switch

and turn on the wrong ring,

so the damn plate I happen to place there,

waiting for the salad–becomes hotter and hotter,

and then can’t take any more

so it explodes–spitting out indignant ceramic dust,

a moment of porcelain fission in a universe

of black glass, a smooth white spaceship splitting apart

along fault lines invisible to the eye,

making beautiful abstract shapes

Arp would have died for,

or more likely shown to his wife, 

before painting either blue or yellow

and slapping in a frame.

I pick up each piece,

still hot–one like a cupid’s bow,

another like a crescent moon,

and put them in a rubbish sack,

where they jangle a lament.

My instinct is to hide the evidence

of this domestic mishap from my dh–

so he’s less likely to think about the possibility

he’s munching the fall out on the lollo rosso,

I somehow forgot to rinse.


Catastrophe on a Plate

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