outwait outrun outwit


an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
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In Chinatown Oakland, I gaze at three cakes in a bakery's window display, pondering briefly upon their flavors. Coconut? Vanilla? Coffee? No matter, no one will ever eat them. Countenances liberally speckled with the dust of many months, these confections will never melt on tongue nor occupy the plate of a mother or daughter.


Memorable cake #1: My brother has just blown out five candles; on the birthday cake, Snoopy grins, even as the knife descends. Forks click against porcelain as they slice through layers of icing and chocolate and strawberries. Someone somewhere is smoking. Later, my brother is crying salty; the family bully has just stolen his toy.

Memorable cake #2: Shit! Late again!: Shilpa's black forest cake cools, precariously propped in my basket, as I bike, panting, to Durant House. And just as I am near, the cake flips over, dribbling chocolate dream on the sidewalk, a sweet trail, indeed, for Hansel and Gretel lost in concrete forest.


In my right ear, she whispers, Trust the memory, dear, more than the thing itself.


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