shattered on the floor my favorite coffee mug nothing big, not much of a thing, just my favorite coffee mug-- sunshine yellow, with coffee beans, and a coffee spoon printed inside at the top along with a line from my favorite poem, “I have measured out my life in coffee spoons” yes, trite, you might say, emblazoned upon a coffee mug but still, yes, I loved the mug, love the poem. and there it was— shattered upon the floor there she stood, apologizing—ad nauseam— saying she’d buy another to replace it. But it was not to be found. Of course, the store didn’t have them anymore. The mug was the first broken thing. The first of a few, if it wasn’t liked, didn’t fit into the ideal of what could be forged of me if pinched in the grip of tongs and held in the fire long enough to be broken down to a molten, malleable state, pounded upon the anvil, shaped, dipped in water to sizzle cool enough to start the process over again— for easy fracture. Many things ended up broken, shelved, stored in closets— pictureless frames and frameless pictures, parts of me hidden away, never to be seen sitting on shelves in black closets— until I emerged chipped but no worse for wear unbroken into the light.