Poetry

“Elegy: I Pass by the Erotic Bakery” – Anna Journey

The way the tits of lemon meringue whorled

in the window that day
looked at first like breasts, then more like paws of my grandfather’s

clubfoot Siamese.
I want to believe that, after he died, the cat didn’t

gnaw off his face. I’ve heard it happens. I’d like to ask the pastry chef

if his vision of whipped
egg whites and sugar meant he saw, in a dream, that mangled paw

pressed to my grandfather’s chest.
I know my grandfather

died alone, with the tv on. I need to know
he kept his face that day, in the green armchair, that the channel
he chose as his heart slowed was not

televangelism, but a bird documentary: dark-eyed juncos
jilting the magnolias, fiercer than angels

flying south. I need to know the show’s voiceover
was pitched in the gauzy

timbre of lullaby—low and Latinate, Byzantine. Because
hearing, during death, is the last

faculty to go. And so, his last moments
were filled with the wing beat of juncos, and a calm,

omniscient voice: Fringilla nigra, ventre albo—black
finch, with a white belly.
 Languid in heat, the meringue
breasts cave a little, almost inscrutably

burnt brown at the side seams, and at the tips. I lick
my lips, though I
won’t enter. I’m afraid

like Christ they’d turn
to flesh in my mouth.

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