Pavlov’s Kitchen

Steven A. Hinkle

The small kitchen is always bright. 
Across the stain of uneven patches,
Red shades pain intimate eyes.
Two black hands drag on a white face.
They recently traded living spaces
With their old mother goose.

Now the sun never sets
Over the hollow-cored doorway.
Dipped in bronze,
It watches the back door
For the chef at the back-burner
As he beats the cock’s children
To a scramble.

The rooster crows out
Of habit but not out of necessity.
Drinking Wild Turkey,
He turns toward tomorrow
And watches the sun he couldn’t raise.

Smoke recesses into the vent And the chef preps
Interspecific genocide.
His flame beams at the scent,

Rising and falling
With the traveling heat.
The eggs form a compromised State of agency.

The chef rings Pavlov’s bell
And summons me to eat. Famished, I feast
On red and yellow children

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