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after the wedding

a poem about relief

By Suze KayPublished 19 days ago Updated 19 days ago 1 min read
the cake in question

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.

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About the Creator

Suze Kay

Pastry chef by day, insomniac writer by night.

Catch me here for spooky stories, crushable poems, and overall weird thoughts.

Or, let me catch you on my website!

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Comments (6)

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  • Mackenzie Davis7 days ago

    I'm appalled I didn't comment on this sooner. Suze, this is truly magnificent. There's an almost chaotic sense of OCD here, not a purist one, which renders this poem so transient, as though the numbers are meant for THIS DAY only and nothing else, the 1234 repeated from daybreak to day's end as a mantra for holding the stress together in an order only you can control. It's beautifully done. I think your stanza about curls holding is my favorite, for it exemplifies this absolutely perfectly. Everything held. And it was beautiful. Now, we can let go.

  • Poppy17 days ago

    Omg this was so good. I'm guessing this is autobiographical because of the wedding and the baking? I've been hoping to hear about the wedding in your poems!! And the cake looks great!! I have a special soft spot for poems that include symptoms of OCD in them because its soo underdone and I desperately want to read more like this!! The way it all came together to form those last two lines was just so clever and satisfying, a literal masterpiece! I was going to tell you that 'trusting in the toe fall, hoping for the heel connect' was my favourite part but now I have no idea what was because it was all so perfect. Ahh I just absolutely adore your poems!!!

  • Laura Lann18 days ago

    I really enjoyed the story telling rythem of this poem. As someone with OCD and a need for even numbers, I also really connected

  • Dana Crandell18 days ago

    "And I held him, in the cab home," My mind could go a couple of different ways with this.

  • Mother Combs19 days ago

    great poem, love it.

  • Mr Ahsan19 days ago

    In this poetic masterpiece, the dance of daily rituals and the creation of a wedding cake intertwine seamlessly, celebrating life's symmetrical beauty and the comforting rhythm of "one two three four." Keep up the good work. Hope in Top

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