Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. - Sylvia Plath
The linoleum underneath knees chilled muscles cold foraging deep past tendon and fat clammy skin peels under careful positioning until you lay your head to rest in the dark black hole that still holds the scent of charred meat and gristle, those potatoes you pared delicately, slivers like white bone, the starch lingers on lips and tongue, its flour beneath fingernails. Did the smell remind you of meals children require as they slumbered on, tucked tightly like rising yeast rolls in little pans nestled just up the stairs? You clench tighter to the baking rack tilt further into the oven. Burrow a little deeper into your art. As the smell of heat the call for an end reminds you to plug the holes of the kitchen doors so that cooking covers gas with the tablecloth worn thin by cutlery, spotted milk, jam stains. Use your own apron, ink splotched along the hem to cinch the air tight. Your palms linger in the grease, caressing, as you push deeper into the dying. When the light of the morning hits the dark stove, and linoleum loses its grip, sickly sweet overpowers garlic, salt, the children will rise with a taste of severed sugars and lies in their mouths, of oil, vinegar, and yeast, the bread that never rose.
-- Summer Jenkins spends most of her time insanely busy, scribbling on every surface that can be found (including walls, although she will, hopefully, grow out of that soon), and making sure that her wonderful fiancé and cat don’t decide to abandon her through lack of food, shelter and occasional affection. She has a Master’s of Arts in Creative Writing from Longwood University, is an Adjunct at Central Virginia Community College, donates time to her local library, and is currently working on her second Master’s at Lynchburg College. Let it be said that she never stopped to smell the roses.