Monday, November 21, 2022

Amy Ralston Seife


Enter the room carefully: a ghost
may be staring into the hot-tempered refrigerator
or contemplating an irascible can opener.

Bow to the coffee grinder and to the sun.
Offer thanks that your favorite blue mug has survived
another cycle in the cantankerous dishwasher.

Keep your slippers on. Sugar granules
strewn across the floor are like razors of shattered
glass. Underfoot, they can be merciless.

Avoid the spilled flour on the countertop as you
would fingerprint powder, even as you struggle to shape
yesterday’s bitterness into a breakfast loaf.

Consider all that can happen here, in what
they call the heart of the house. The capricious
microwave hums a little tune off-key.

Beware: despite what they say,
Styrofoam can explode and burn. Even if you follow
the directions faithfully.

Never argue in the kitchen,
an emergency room doctor once warned me.
He’d seen too many knife wounds.

Amy's YouTube video reading of "Kitchen Peril":

Subscribe and turn on Notifications for Channel 52.

Amy confesses: "Late one night, as I was boiling water for tea, I imagined the kitchen appliances assuming different personalities. In the half-light, things took a sinister turn. The last stanza was a gift, and once it appeared, transformed the scene into the aftermath of a domestic incident."

AMY RALSTON SEIFE is a poet and short story writer whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in Lumina, Inkwell, The Ekphrastic Review, Literary Mama, Right Hand Pointing, Plants & Poetry Journal, and others. She has been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology and Pushcart Prizes. The editor-in-chief of The Westchester Review, she holds an M.A. in English Literature from Yale and an M.F.A. in fiction from Sarah Lawrence, and teaches creative writing in the New York area.


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