Mardi Gras Cake


a plastic baby in every cake


The heat of the oven is a joy, she thinks.
Her pale wrap eases and expands,
bowing regretfully back from the flesh.
Her arms extend, her pink fingers twitching
within the balloons of warm air. The smell
of batter is a blessing, she hopes. The wet cloak
of flour stiffens into sponge, beneath this
darkening and sugary veil. The shallow pits
of her nostrils tremble toward the egg
and vanilla. The taste of dry cake is prayer,
she believes. Leavening the plastic spirit
tempers, without searing, skin. The oven's well,
deep and wide, and its crowded pews all
quietly recalling the same shimmering whisk,
fade beneath a slight pressure of cake
crumbling on her motionless tongue.