Karen Sagstetter

I shake yeast into the bowl,
love watering
and stirring the dull brown flakes
to life.
Spreading flour over the board
I am a potter
reviving beaten and broken stone.

And you, my friend,
quicken in my memory.
You pinch in the walls of my stomach
from the inside, like a wish
waking in a dark closet.

I knead
and wait.

I knead.
My hands are a mixture:
two palms, heavy as distance,
shaping the dough

and my impatient fingers.
They dance, urge
the loaf to extravagance.
When the oven is ready,

I punch the rising mound
press the dough into the pan
slide it onto the rack.
Maybe this bread, bubbling from dust,
will be light
will fill me.


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