A Kitchen Accident in Prospect Heights
M. bastes the roasting pheasant with a jigger of too-cold
Pinot Grigio, and the glass baking dish shatters. Pheasant
fat spills into the oven, crackles angrily, then
sublimes. Smoke spews through the stove-top,
chokes the hallway, the bedroom… The whole apartment
fogs up. When I find M. unhurt, I get surly. How much
will I be changed before I am changed? (“What the hell did you say?”
I holler as I try to drown the fire.) The fowl’s
burnt ectoplasm scumbles our particulars: a foxed etching
of “The Death of Socrates;” my books (there dims the spine
of Metamorphoses and Goodall’s In The Shadow of Man).
Our eyes redden; bearings smudge. (I can barely
read the cuckoo clock.) Shouting, we open every window.
I am no longer I, the poor bird grieves, unheard.