I love you like the crunchy toast from that vintage metal box which stood like a sleepy guard in your kitchen when we first met, before your roommate absconded with the blender, can opener, cherry pitter, duct tape, and her own fear of dying alone.

A marginal friend from your youth visited for far too long, took up time, my patience, then groped his fingers across photos of my relatives. Glaring at him, then you, and sepia toned yearbooks had me forgiving my own filthy past.

He yanked out the cord, flung open the window, and that toaster soared into the yard for it had dared burn his bread though you warned him not to adjust the temperamental controls. Sans an apology, he coldheartedly insisted on buying a massive replacement and chose an eight-slicer, the size of a Dutch army.

You returned it for something smaller, white and cheap, which would feed only you and me, the right thing for us, but never once in the multiple times we’ve had to replace it have we ever had perfect toast again except at restaurants on Sundays, when we’re hung-over, crisply witted, and chortling over the previous night’s antics of our late night partygoers which we rarely host anymore, sheepish of them, bagels, and all that may be laid bare near mimosa-sized glasses of orange juice on those referential mornings.

T. L. Sherwood lives in western New York. Her blog, “Creekside Reflections,” can be found here: http://tlsherwood.wordpress.com/ Currently, she’s working on a new novel.

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