Dinner Party
Heather McShane

You know how I turn on the burner underneath the teakettle each morning and then return to bed until it whistles? I turned on the front burner instead of the back.

On the front burner sat the cast-iron skillet caked with food from two nights previous. Potatoes, tomatoes, onions; I discovered after the dinner party -- half a bottle of red.

We chat through email. No CO2 detector. The cat tries to bridge the gap from the table to radiator. Nuclear power. Satellite images.

In your wake is a postcard, its front image a map.

I don't ask, but did you mean to forward the details about an event to me?

According to a security institute --

just for a little steam --

where are the mountains?

Daily trains. We choose architecture, art. We mistype words: "feel" for "fell."

When you're homeless, you buy socks. The time it takes before --

Water, windows.

I forgot to serve the bread.