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Is it a violence to take the knife to the loaf? This redemption
has a split crust and is covered in seeds. There is blood
from where I dropped the Pyrex bowl and the chipped
glass lodged itself between my fingers as I tried to erase

the mistake. Between the kneading and the rising
I wait for the orphaned alligators to congregate
in the yard. It is an all-day affair. There is a storm front
approaching and the curtains billow like steam from a kettle.

Is this fate—or slow-burning fear? The armor-skinned wild
things trample the zinnias and leave wet tracks through the beds.
Birds flee. But I remain in the over-warm and beguiled
state of baking for the throng. I am not always

careful. Sometimes I forget to measure, or use the wrong
temperature, but there are always more teeth waiting.

—Hannah Yoest