I ate bread off the floor. It tasted like dirt. Not because of the floor. The floor was not dirty. But because times were tight as the head of a snare drum and we'd dug up the blackness of our yard, mixed it with the soured dregs of a stout bottle and hoped that it would lift up in the hot sun.
The result was the cold rightness of a corpse.
But by evening we were back at the shovel, sleeves rolled to let our arms deep into the trashcans along the alley. The clanks and cuts of bottles.
A dash. A pinch. Something whole to swallow. And full knowledge that science works only so well or not at all.