Breakfast, three ways

left: original artwork, right: the tea towel itself (creased, stained and used)
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breakfast: noun
a meal eaten in the morning as the first meal of the day. A celebration of the ending darkness; a joyful moment. 

Outside, scrunched in a paper bag, fragrant warmth drifting through my fingers. The air is light and translucent, sunshine already promises heat for an autumn day. I don’t know what I ordered. It could be anything, but whatever it is tastes vibrant and alive. I can smell it as I would a flower or the salt of the sea, pungent and sweet, the first awakening of my senses. Butter, bread, pastry, the sharpness of fruit, blue sky on the tongue. A flake of croissant, a fallen leaf. 

breakfast: noun
the food prepared for a breakfast. The nourishment that can reorientate or disorientate the body after sleepless nights and airplanes; a way of guessing where in the world the body has landed. 

Was that gunfire we dreamt, or firecrackers? The haunting call of the muezzin brought us out of a thin and shifting sleep, bodies still split between continents and the moon unfamiliar, uncomfortable in the sky. There is bread and cheese, the processed kind, pale and thin-sliced and smooth to the touch. It makes me queasy. Nausea washed down with coffee. To refuse would be worse; I can’t leave it under the quiet eyes of the nuns. Later we’ll eat falafel, hummus, raw onion, greasy fingers on the streets of the Old City. Spices in three different languages will assault my lips. 

breakfast: verb
to break the fast, to eat the food prepared for breakfast, to prepare the first meal of the day. To fix a point in the turning cycle of light and darkness. To end something, and begin something else.

Two mugs of black coffee, side by side. Steam swirls into chill mist. In the round dark shimmer are the echoes of pine trees, lake water, a lone bird song. We’ve planned kayaking, wine-tasting, cherry picking. What we have is stillness and space empty of conversation. A heron sits motionless by the wooden jetty. She doesn’t say that this is our last weekend together, but she knows. When she lifts she is silent, and dew-water drips from her wings. 

Breakfast in Jerusalem

Breakfast in Michigan

Breakfast in Paris