Behind the counter, baskets
heap with loaves: honey wheat, rustic white, focaccia,
peasant rye, oatmeal with walnut and cranberry.
I want a slice of each, toasted,
buttered. I want one slice spread with red pepper or onion jam, another
set aside for sweetness. I want to see
how nuts and berries settled and rose with the dough,
how the dough palmed chunks of fruit.
I want crusty rolls, biscuits, the gold,
the dark, and I want
crumbs to scatter as the bread
opens under my serrated knife. I want life to lengthen
until I’ve tasted every variety,
and then I want a second turn.
But today I will choose
one loaf to carry home because fresh bread
persuades me to linger over breakfast as if time
opened into eternity each morning,
as if morning promised
not eternity but attentiveness, each moment’s flavor,
my absorption in it.