Size / / /

"Last year sharks killed nine people globally—a mere driblet compared to defective toasters, which killed 781."

AP Newswire

No primordial killing machine


by nature could be this singularly

harmless looking, with neither fins

nor teeth,

its long black cord functioning not

so much as a tail—to balance

or locomote—

but as lifeline to the sleekly-built

appliance with its open gills of

chrome, spring

jaw, and burnt-crumb breath.

And yet despite these deficiencies,

it swims,

if statically, in a current strong

enough to carry away an Olympian,

its boxlike

form dictated by function, if not

the fetished mind of Martha Stewart.

Hidden in

plain sight, usually in the cove or bay

of a kitchen, it waits to strike down

the unwary,

the unsuspecting innocent

who, hungry for a pastry or bagel,

but distracted

by the menialness of the task,

does not notice the frayed cord,

blissfully placing

his hand too close to the open slits

or the shiny body of the appliance


anticipating the sweet butter-and-jam

taste in his mouth, the delicious chew

of crust,

completely oblivious as to what lays

in wait for him, deadlier than any


even if able to make perfect toast.

Robert Borski works for a consortium of elves repairing shoes in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. You can read more of his work in our archives.
Current Issue
22 Jul 2024

By: Mónika Rusvai
Translated by: Vivien Urban
Jadwiga is the city. Her body dissolves in the walls, her consciousness seeps into the cracks, her memory merges with the memories of buildings.
Jadwiga a város. Teste felszívódik a falakban, tudata behálózza a repedéseket, emlékezete összekeveredik az épületek emlékezetével.
By: H. Pueyo
Translated by: H. Pueyo
Here lies the queen, giant and still, each of her six arms sprawled, open, curved, twitching like she forgot she no longer breathed.
Aqui jaz a rainha, gigante e imóvel, cada um de seus seis braços caídos e abertos, curvados, tomados de leves espasmos, como se esquecesse de que não estava mais viva.
By: Sourav Roy
Translated by: Carol D'Souza
I said sky/ and with a stainless-steel plate covered/ the rotis going stale 
मैंने कहा आकाश/ और स्टेनलेस स्टील की थाली से ढक दिया/ बासी पड़ रही रोटियों को
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