Literary Orphans

Burnt Birthday Cake by Isadora Gruye


Magda, how can you measure

the flour for your birthday cake

when there are grub worms in the pantry?

They want the bread crumbs, hard and grey

which you keep in the cupboards as a reminder:

there is always something left behind.


Even if it’s just a burnt birthday cake

on a Wednesday evening

followed by a lukewarm bath

and dreams of riding the bus

but missing your stop

so you get off a block north of Euclid

and stub your toe on a buckled slab of sidewalk.


Magda, the sun rises

just to fuck with your perception of time.

It rifles through your naughties

when you’re away at work

and judges you based on the good standing

of the elastic band at the top of your cotton undies.

For each pair untorn, clean and folded,

it makes a puffy white cloud

in the shape of your favorite animal cracker.


Magda, we all know the pleasantness

of a blue sky

licking our hunched backs.

The sky is folding in on itself

to hug you at the horizon.

But you will never notice such things

with your gaze fixed on the ground.

O Typekey Divider

Isadora Gruye is a writer and photographer living in St. Paul, Minnesota. She believes in cartographers and beekeepers but has no need for maps or honey. She is co-founder and editor of Nice Cage Literary Magazine.  

Isadora Gruye

O Typekey Divider

–Art by Milton G. (Paradise Found)

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