You asked me to make pancakes.
I do not eat pancakes–shouldn’t, I say–but I made them anyway, for you.
The batter is lumpy in the yellow melamine mixing bowl, and I look at it, grudgingly pouring small circles onto the hot griddle. It is too hot, butter burning now beneath the cakes. You say you love that smell, and reach beneath me to open the oven, to pull the bacon from the broiler.
I watch your cakes bubble up on top, slowly, milk sweet, hot, scalding sweet, with the coffee you have made, the wood musty in this far-off cabin of yours, bugs humming, birds, peas-in-Canada, I hear, when you open the back door and whistle, your cat’s sleek fur now circling my ankles as I flip quickly, flip, quickly, and they are nearly ready, bacon, crisp, two plates, and your porch, two chairs, a small table between us, last night’s beer bottles and my flip-flops, our swimsuits flung over the railing. I can see my breath in the cool, the humid now near the lake, there beyond the fog. The coffee is so hot, your breath so hot, kisses hot in the early morning, the violets in the meadow, spring dew, you pinching my nipples as I carry two plates, the syrup hanging from my fingertip.
I should never eat these things, but you are right. They are perfect, burned butter, syrup, bacon, coffee. I am a child again. This is bliss, yes, morning, yes, you, yes, so comforting, so familiar, so inevitable, it seems, in the haze of morning, Ivory soap on your hands now as you turn my face toward yours. I might sleep again, soon, might fall back into bed with you, your kisses. Might wake, too, to wander through the dewy violets, to the water, warmer than the air, you were right. I might jump in, if you asked me, might swim in these dark waters, these known waters, these waters I have loved for so long, might dive, then, into the deep, might come up for air, might, might, wish I may, I might make pancakes again for you.