Pan Tostado
Philip Brooks

Still in pajamas, he wanders the countertop. Huge crumbs scattered like glacial leavings.
Each second lasts longer than a second.
He hears plangent music. Coming from where?
Scaling a bunch of bananas, he peers into the toaster. Four ants.
One plays guitar. The others croon about love, in Spanish.
His wife arrives. Her motion and mass push swirling winds. She loads the toaster, drops the lever.
But she's already on to grinding the coffee.
The coils' glow! Heat taking all air!
"Marmalade?" she says.
She stacks toast slices on a plate, great buttered rafts.
The guitarist collapses at his feet. And the others? begs the man.
She is muy bonita, says the ant, and dies.
Through the open window, laughter and shouts of kids walking to school.
They sit across from one another.
On a white plate, toast. Warm butter and marmalade meld. And coffee. Deepest brown in a white cup, steam rising.
She looks at him and pours cream, smiles.
This beautiful giantess. This morning.
How he feels.
The word for it.