the burnt pieces

M11

she baked her love in a cake. i remember it
in a dimly lit dining room with candles
bright enough to burn me me down. i have two
scars, one on each buttock. one from
a lit firecracker my sibling stuffed into my
back pocket, burning me down.  he gave me
the other with pliers squeezed tight enough
to make a memory mountain on my skin.
my ember flesh is still ugly at forty-five.

i shared my cake with one friend-not-friend,
the only kid available at three in the afternoon,
kid from across the street, kid whose name
i cannot remember, never really knew,
kid of convenience kid, kid sheepish and hungry
for cake.

she was proud of her sugar coated love.
stood smiling over us, the two in the dim,
told me to blow out the candles, stop the burning.
but i did not want to lose the light, to sit in the dark
with a strange and nameless kid, a fantasy of
friendship with nightmare edges. we ate the cake
and i kept wondering, am still wondering,
how come nobody got me a clown. how come
the only joke i can tell ends with the kid was kidding?

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