Meaning 'one whom bread is shared with',
from the Latin, so presumably
no animal who doesn't practice
the cultivation of wheat can have a companion
in the strict sense of the word, although

wheat-free breads are possible and ducks,
feeding on our scattered breadcrumbs, smoothly
glide beside companions. Nobody
with gluten intolerance is condemned
to live alone. Wheat-free Danish pastries

can be consumed, buckwheat pizzas even,
as two or more companions meet
for their secular mass, their little ceremony
of breaking bread together. The table
spread between them like an altar, plates

that kiss like meeting spheres and conversation
blossoming like golden heads of wheat
swaying towards each other, almost touching.