Scene Five from a Marriage

scene five from a marriage:
a broken spring equals a broken toaster
but not just any toaster
my bake-everything toaster
my savior to a shitty oven
my air fryer
my baker of brownies and pies
my upper-class kitchen in my middle-class house

i asked if he *thought*
it could be opened up and fixed
and before i’d moved the laundry
from the washer to the dryer,
he had the drill out.

you’ll never find this
i want to tell the world
my daughters
my soul at age nineteen when he walked
so uncertainly
into Pete’s Kitchen

but i did.
i found the man who’d drill a toaster
on a hellish Thursday
a Thursday dripping with tears and self-doubt

just another scene
from a marriage that works.

Scene Three from a Marriage (Love Yolk)

Here I am at home,

and he tells me not to take a pic,

that “it’s only an egg”

though a moment ago he said,

“we better move her or she’ll overcook”

and like precious cargo

he slides her onto the plate

still in his uniform

at the end of a long day.

a long day for a teacher–

for a human–

he sent me a text three-quarters into third period,

almost lunch.

“Two staff members shot at East High.”

three miles from my school

three million bullets into my heart

three months into 2023.

it’s only an egg.

it’s only a threat.

it’s only a gun.

so carefully, he cooks the sausage

(in a separate pan ’cause I won’t eat it)

Scene Three from a Marriage.

the marriage he allows me

where I can take this pic against protests

and write a poem that’s not a haiku

and wrap my arms in the love

that the boy with the gun didn’t have.

and only you,

you standing there tomorrow morning with me,

in front of my Newcomers,

in front of this American high school,

can feel that love bleeding through



the love for that burst yolk,

that perfect yellow yolk–

the love the boy with the gun didn’t have.