“Cosmic Cooking” by Gretchen Tessmer

so this one time, I
put a hot star in an ice water bath
and cracked
a corner of my favorite galaxy

(I still shake my head at that)

and I once mixed up
salt and sugar
and the ratios of a few
other elements

(things like oxygen and carbon dioxide)

and well, I wanted Mars to work out too

and those craters on the moon?
blame a sourdough starter
stored in a Tupperware container
left out on the counter and forgotten
for a millennium…or maybe two

and sorry about Venus
I think the saran wrap
was sealed a little too tight

(and, in retrospect, I’d say hold the sulfuric acid)

but I swear, none of these compare to…

well, just imagine a pressure canner
with sunshine pouring out of holes

in a shuddering, shaking
cosmic cooker
pressurized, steaming
until it explodes!

and I don’t really know exactly what happened
or how it happened
but, oh…

time was bent
so was space

and afterwards
there was Big Bang residue
all over the place

Gretchen Tessmer is a writer based in the U.S./Canadian borderlands. She writes both short fiction and poetry, with work appearing in such venues as Nature, Strange Horizons, Cast of Wonders, Daily Science Fiction and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, as well as a previous appearance in Kaleidotrope.