Sunday, 16 September 2012

Licking the Bowl by Sophia Blackwell

First of all, you need to get in there.
Put your back into it, every ounce
Of your mercifully unmeasured eight-year-old weight.
Someone else tied your apron, but
That doesn’t really matter. You’re the master
Of your afternoon estate. Yes, they said,
For tea, for a bit of peace, yes. Make another cake.

You need to cream it till it’s white and fluffy,
Your wrist the flexless neck of your hated violin.
You need your butter-thumbed Be-Ro baking book
Although you know your sponge cake like Hail Mary.
It’s a good-luck charm, that marked page. It’s safe,
The section for each cake the size of a psalm.

You need to sneak a bit of the crystal-blitzed mix,
Savour the salt of Stork against the sweet.
Your tongue leaves oily marblings on the spoon.

You need to leave a siege to show you’ve worked.
The sink banked up with carbon-dated layers
Awash in oily water. At this point
You’re losing interest, watching your creation
Borne to the humming oven by bigger hands.

You need to watch the clock till it comes out
And wonder- pointlessly, always- about this loss,
How it must end like this, and if it should,
Cool, gritty cream yielding to sponge and crust,
Your scraped bowl dully glinting like old treasure,
Your hunger blunt, and your unspoken doubt
That nothing- nowhere- will ever taste this good.

Sophia Blackwell is a performance poet and author. Her first novel,
After My Own Heart, was published earlier this year by Limehouse

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