Theresa Boyar

Death of a Domestic Appliance

The motor’s fried. We click and hear
an ominous hum. No grinding whir,
no rattling countertop. No warranty.

Repair is not an option and replacement,
according to our checkbook, has to wait.
Meantime, lucky me, I’m the designated
garbage disposal de-gunker.

Within two days, it becomes routine as toothbrushing,
this ceremony of reach and remove.
I drag fingertips across silenced blades, pushing a mush
of bleached Fruity Pebbles and celery,
grey onion, a Capri Sun straw wrapper,
a single red grape bounced
into the sink by accident.

Each evening, I scoop and eject, conscious always
of the vulnerability of the hand
as it searches and scrapes, how a retired pulse
of current is the fracture dividing
domesticity from tragedy.

And while my forearm dips
into the unknown, I’m looking out
the kitchen window, past the spill
of children’s toys and poorly managed
flowerbeds, into a sky swollen
with the usual stars, cold and tranquil
and never so much as hinting at the
nuclear blossom stowed within.


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