Operation Daily Bread

Kenny Williams

There will be a fire
that blocks out the sun.
For now, though,
in the four—give it five—
long seconds before,
there's a dinner being eaten
in the middle of the day.
Good thing we're not robbers.
The crystal's cheap.
There's nothing in it.
No sharp white wine,
no day-old fish.
The blazer hangs a little loosely
on the host.
But where's our hostess,
the plastic lady
in the brand new dress,
a clean and simple thing,
very dark blue, with a fine
white dot in the print?
The windows are all open.
Did the hostess get away?
The desert wind takes the air
with it when it leaves.
If these windows had curtains
they'd get sucked out too.
How many seconds have we got,
counting backward?
Three? More likely two.
Just time enough to beg
our daily bread, but can we
receive it in good faith,
now, having broken—
looking for it—in?
The dead calm face
of the host says, Go.
Come ask again tomorrow,
by which the dead calm
face means, as it's melting,
you should have come
asking yesterday.