Muffin of the Morning
by James B. Nicola
We made a world once.
And now I like making muffins.
I join disparate parts, some unfriendly to each other,
emulsifying them with a dose of soluble
salt—just a soupçon, that its
inapt flavor be barely detectable
to the taste buds, later;
make solid gold ingots liquid so that they stir;
mash meteorites with a marble wand
in a marble, cauldrony dish, that they
might add, to the maelstromy mess, some spice;
and blend the batter in a master bowl
like an upturned firmament.
Time draws and pushes and soon I want to see
the creation even in its hot phase of becoming.
I press a switch and in a click—
I stoop and see the muffin with its siblings
incubating to the ticks of a timer.
But this world's impatient: Empty air sucks up
sweet aromatic atoms from the brood ere born.
Collaterally, I breathe in exquisite essence
of muffin, reduced to mere nose and eyes
for a while.
With the bell the flesh returns
and inexorable desire to touch
the muffins. As the door's opened
I see, sight untempered by
the time-tanned glass. I see and have
to touch. And I touch, to test.
I seat them on the cooling rack
and look up and down the rows, as in
a delivery ward. Surrounding them with
my eyes, though, makes me want to touch
and more—to surround them with flesh.
and when the gobs have cooled from orbs into
asteroids, fit for habitation,
I touch a muffin, the first born,
raise it, and surround it with my palms
in an embrace that fills me
with indomitable want
to surround its wee world
with something even more than want—
The muffin must be dismantled bit by bit. Therefore
it gets touched and tongue-tapped, to taste.
It delights, and so is rewarded with velvet caresses
then hugs from my silkening mouth.
It finds itself finally surrounded by
esophagus. . . tummy. . . intestine—all of me, first:
then, of the world.
You see now why I like to wake up
to muffins, eating yesterdays today,
or making tomorrows.
And why a little salt—
like a thimbleful of stars,
each a chiseled jewel;
rock crushed to its crystals;
ocean boiled down to its essence of dissolvable dust—
might help you, too,
contain your chaotic parts
and stir them into the gem, the muffin, the world
I see, and, touching, know
you were created
The coffee's fresh-ground this morning, by the way;
the pumpkin in the muffin,
I smashed the other day—
the morning after you fled in tears and fright.
I've tried to make this muffin, like the poem,
grand enough to share
that we might see it together,
with the lubricants coffee
|Widely published on both sides of the Atlantic, James B. Nicola has several poetry awards and nominations to his credit, with recent appearances in Alimentum and the Southwest, Atlanta, and Lullwater Reviews. His nonfiction book Playing the Audience won a Choice award. First full-length poetry collection, Manhattan Plaza, just released. Visit his website.|