Baked loaves dangle in the window display,

Akhtar rolls and kneads and rolls and kneads

until it is flattened. Leavened. Straightened

and stretched to the nth degree. He lathers it with

butter, smooth silky yellowed glaze,

tossing it as he does. His labour of love is thrown

into the fire, embers licking its edges as it rises

and falls. Akhtar wipes the sweat off his brow.

He is an acrobat, a magician, a scientist

and an artist all rolled

in one.

Originally published at on September 19, 2020.