Milky Way

Silvia Barajas-Ceja once said,
“No bad thoughts while you bake
Or you’ll ruin the cake,” but I mixed
An inexplicable sadness in with the eggs,
And the cake baked just fine,
Except for when it sank a bit when I opened
The door too early. Undaunted, sadness
Rose again like a chest after inhalation,
And goldened and fell again, cooling
On the stovetop. It didn’t matter.
You flip a three milk cake upside down
Anyway, and it should look flat,
Not domed. When my knife shagged
The wall of the cake and left a gouge
Right before I dropped it on the plate,
I didn’t care. Whipped cream hides
The dents, swaddles my sorrow
Like baby Jesus to feed my friends.
When they said it was the best cake
They’d ever had, my sorrow
Sparkled in their eyes, a milky way.


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