Every Sunday I’d cross the city to buy our breakfast.


She’d stay in bed   – her skin crème freche.


One Sunday, I went two miles for custard, eggs, and a pack of corn tortillas.


When I got home  – lights were flashing down our street, bouncing off our tenement window.


There was yellow tape, ambulances, police swarming, people crowding.


It was all over. I could put the eggs down, could keep her sweater, her good CD.


I could head west, get out of the city. The lights were dizzy fireworks. The world was open sky.


And then a cop said a chunk of masonry had fallen and crushed a boy’s skull like a shell.


And she was crème freche,

safe asleep in our bed, her belly

beginning to bubble. I climbed

one hundred steps, tapped eggs

on the edge of the pan, opened

our can of custard.


First Published in in The Golden Hour Book (2007), revised for New Leaf 24, 2008.