Issue 67, Fall 1976
I put the bacon into the pan.
It lies there, lank and perfectly relaxed.
After a few minutes, though, a marvelous transformation
starts: the bacon begins to whisper, then hiss,
sinks down, becomes transparent, bubbles and snaps
and babbles to itself, turning crinkled and brown and stiff.
Meantime, I cut up some mushrooms.
The knife blade enters the soft puffy white flesh.
What is a mushroom: a fruit? a vegetable?
Inside the cap, as half the mushroom fails away
gills and a tiny breathing space are revealed—
a secret maritime connection: earth-fish, land-anemone
alive on the ocean of the mossy forest floor.
As the mushroom slices are added to the intense heat of the pan
each one dries out and appears as a miniature kippered herring.
Now I drop in the eggs. Two circular wonders.
The clear fluid becomes white and solid
as the yolk builds its own bright dome in the snow.
Personally, I like to put a lid on it all
so the white covers the yolk entirely.