My toaster finally broke today.
Bought in 2008, just days
after my ex moved out.
It’s lime green,
originally eighty dollars,
seventy percent off
at a going-out-of-business sale.
Every time I had company that year,
the toaster would come up.
I mean it’s a lime green Eclectrics,
you can’t see your face in it,
but you can see your self in it.
I met my ex in 1993.
I was nineteen.
Pregnant at twenty-one,
I bought him a beer from the shell station
for my birthday.
He taught me to drive,
helped me pick my first car.
Everything I owned by 2008 was ours.
Hell, we’d moved all of it out of state,
then back again.
I bought the toaster during a snow storm.
Car stuck in the drive,
I put on boots, walked through
snow at times up to my thighs.
I wasn’t planning to buy a toaster.
There were signs stuck in the snow,
along the sidewalk–70–80% off–
Everything must go!
By the time I made it home,
a toaster tucked under my arm,
I was already muscle-tired
from the effort it takes
to walk through that much snow.
I made a bagel,
smothered it in cream cheese,
topped it with a tomato slice, sprouts,
fresh ground pepper and salt,
remembering how we’d bageled our way
through college, the first few years of parenting,
how we’d grown sick of bagels.
Like so many other things we overdid together.