She opens a beer and tells them
about this year’s pies, about how most of the customers
wanted cherry and not the usual pumpkin or apple,
and how orders flew in like insects through open windows.
Then she says that late Wednesday night she dropped a tray of eight,
watched them shatter their faces against the kitchen tiles, spill ruby innards.
And what did you do? they asked.
Roll dough. She places that reply so casually down,
as if she had described knocking over a cup of water in her sleep
and waking to find the floor already near dry; this, and not a story
of toil in making, toil in cleaning, toil in remaking, mourning loss.
Anyway, she claims to have liked the second batch better:
smooth, clean edges. Full.
by Arden Levine
Arden Levine’s poems have most recently appeared in The Offing, No Dear, Permafrost, River Styx, Spillway, and Little Patuxent Review, and been featured by AGNI, The Missouri Review, and Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry. Arden holds a Master of Public Administration from NYU, and her daily work focuses on the development and preservation of affordable urban housing and neighborhoods. A native of Washington, DC, Arden lives in Brooklyn, NY.