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.
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