Coming down uncarpeted stairs to the landing,
turning right into a lights-off kitchen
on an early winter evening—similar
to walking down a street at dusk,
an indecisive time of neither sun nor moon.
Her favorite time of day, not his.
The oven, like the light, is off; vision limited,
scents too faint for human sensitivities
and the only sound beyond stucco walls, a wind.
A car passes, tires audibly intruding.
He punches down the toaster lever
despite no bread in the toaster,
knowing crumbs at the bottom will fill
the kitchen with the comfortable aroma
of burnt bread. The lever makes a clack
as it is plunged to the dark toast setting
and a similar clack, unique to toasters,
when the automatic timer expires
and up pops virtual toast.
Two clacks and burned bread crumbs.
The kitchen has a pulse.