The shirt I pull on after still smells like me
fresh after a shower, the magnolia oil I slathered on my limbs
this morning in pumps of two or three or four:
numbers which meant something when I counted them.
Like the steps up and down to our apartment.
I count them as I go, one two three four one two three four,
trusting in the toe fall,
hoping for the heel connect.
The wedding cake I made today, in this shirt, had swiss buttercream.
Which you may not know means I prepared: I
wiped the bowls and beaters and paddles with vinegar.
I collected egg whites, pure, which tolerate no fat. I
whisked and whisked and whisked with sugar over fire,
then beat and beat and beat in butter.
Four layers of cake and three layers of filling -
I pretend the shell of icing makes four, which makes it even,
which makes it right.
I stood outside the chapel, with cigar smoke curling around my hair,
which was also curled, heatless, around silk rods I carried through the night,
which held me through the beating and the whipping and the sleeping,
all of which the curls held. And the icing held.
And I held him, in the cab home,
and I almost cried at the beauty of it all:
I made a cake, and two people got married,
and I drank until my shoes fell off, and all of it was ok.
One two three four one two three four:
It's all ok. It's all even. It all held.