Frosting

by Joel Moskowitz


At our wedding my wife had a headache.
Both sides hurt.
I had forgotten the license, had to go back.
But our cake was impressive––
round as time, three tiers,
paste-slathered.
On top, a bride and groom seemed ready to jump
into the warm North Carolina lagoon
where schools of gentle herring swim
and Jolly Rogers used to fly on the masts of pirate ships,
but it was too soon for our honeymoon,
we were still in Brooklyn,
the social hall of Temple Shalom.

The caterer handed my bride a fork, whispered instructions––
Don’t stab this into the top of the cake.
Just take a little frosting off the side.

Everybody ate.
Nobody wondered, far as we know,
how so many chocolate portions had multiplied
so quickly and neatly, and all were rectangular.
Who would care?
Not the newlyweds, so eager
to leave in a taxi and land somewhere far away.

Now we see our wedding cake,
glossy in a photograph.
Though it was just a decoration,
fake as a fairy tale castle,
I still feel that thick sweet mass
stuck in my throat.

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