Before breakfast

Before breakfast, the coffee must be poured. Two scoops of roasted beans in the grinder, a banshee in the corner transcribes the screeching and spitting of the blades. The contents are mangled into a soft, fine powder. Cold milk would never do, in its refrigerated state it has the power to change the taste of coffee. Milk must be mellowed, sweetened by the barest glimmer of gas flame. Tiny brown grains sift onto the counter, the floor, a spoon, my hand. How long would it take, how many years of no sweeping, before the whole kitchen was filled? In ten thousand years, would I wade to the stove through an ankle-high layer of spilled coffee grinds? Or would I be forced to keep a shovel by the door, clearing a path each morning through loosely-packed coffee dust that reached past my thighs? When the pot starts to gurgle I take it off the heat and pour a cup for me, and a thimble for the banshee.

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