Flags of Defiance by F.J. Bergmann

After the grape jelly ran out, there was an ascendancy of marmalade, the sultan of the breakfast table, absolute monarch of the buttered bread. Chunks and globs periodically fell from grace on the way to the mouth and crushed into the carpet, snuggling up to dust mice and stray pubic hairs, until sucked into a wanton trombone. The regular arrival of dunning letters from credit-card companies made it necessary to begin consuming mussels and other shellfish less often, no more than twice a week. There was, however, no stinting on soap, regardless of how precarious the financial situation; hygiene is a serious business and the sequence of bathtime rituals a flagrant and glorious scuttling of pecuniary restrictions. Pivoting away from the gilt-framed mirror, the picotée shower-curtain ruffles its stiff flounces in a pique. The children succumbed to yaws ages ago, so there will finally be enough turkey for everyone this year, and the library books return themselves like homing pigeons, a whole flock looming like a small, pudgy cloud.

F.J. Bergmann writes poetry and speculative fiction, often simultaneously, appearing in The 5-2 Crime Poetry, Black Treacle, North American Review, Postcard Poems, Pulp Literature and elsewhere, functioning, so to speak, as editor of Star*Line, the journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and poetry editor of Mobius: The Journal of Social Change