A Slice of Chocolate Birthday Cake
after Gertrude Stein
There is an absence of lemon. Dark, dark as roots, as earth. It is the tongue’s earth, coats the swallowing. Coats are because we need more fur. Not enough hair. Nair is an invention against chocolate. Swallowing keeps us nonviolent. Violets do the aching. Earth holding their feet in place. We pace, walk inside ourselves. The inside is more chocolate. The best is dark, bittersweet. But not sour. Not lemon. It is the absence of yellow. Bad color for apartment walls. Bad sour. Sore throat. Swallowing keeps the earth holding our feet. It isn’t violent to visit our sour. Our sting. Our bee days. It isn’t violent until it is. A cake is what we let them eat. They are the them. With their yellow haunches. A hunch is like a fact. Thighs are a fact. Cake makes fat, makes fact, makes hunch, makes a good end to lunch. Swallow makes a fact of new violence, makes inside a dark sting, a dark stink. Mouth of wonder, mouth of weapon, of earth. Men come to the cake. Men come to the cake with mouths wagging. The dark wages. The dark sours. How many hours to violet. What is not lemon. What is the earth comes into the new. Thighs pace. The stick of frosting. August thick with thighs. Thick September. Sick as violence. The body’s red. Like beets inside. Earth on the tongue. Again. Blood thick on the tongue. The men come to cake with their mouths. They want the earth we are. The earth they aren’t.
Stevie Edwards is the author of two poetry collections: Humanly (Small Doggies, 2015) and Good Grief (Write Bloody, 2012) which received the Independent Publisher Book Awards Bronze in Poetry and the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award. She is Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Muzzle Magazine, Senior Editor in Book Development at YesYes Books, and a Poetry Reader for American Literary Review. She holds an MFA in poetry from Cornell University and is a PhD candidate in creative writing at University of North Texas. Her writing has appeared in Verse Daily, Rattle, Indiana Review, The Journal, The Offing, Nashville Review, Superstition Review, NANO Fiction, Ploughshares Blog. She is currently working on her third book of poetry, tentatively titled Lush.