Cake Balls

I miss brother, who I never knew well.

To prolong the agony of life’s emotion,

I plunge my bamboo skewer into the sponge of an unassuming frozen ball,

Plucking it up from wax paper whose flat, cold lips suck back resistently.

I reround the ball on his stick to help him regain his shape.

His refusal comes in the form of freezer burn,

So I plop him into a reflecting pool of glossy, glassy, brown chocolate.

I roll him round, letting ribbons of liquid stream off him,

Waning into a warm glass bowl.

I twirl and swirl him, making a tiny squirrel tail quickly curve his hip,

And sit him delicately down like a porcelain penguin,

Praying he doesn’t grow feet.

He sits. He waits. Nervous energy churning inside like an atom smasher.

With each rotation, his exterior crystallizes.

With each lingering moment, he hardens.

He remains soft butter inside.

With luck, he’ll stay glossy,

And he will be topped with a candied yellow crown when he’s done.

Someone who knows about chocolate will bite his head off, thinking, “What a snap!”

But for now, there’s brother again behind my eyes,

In the dark of lights out, under wax paper prison sheets.

Eyes white, awake, begging me.

I don’t know what to say.

I pluck up the dark cake ball with my skewer, flinging it into my mouth.

It smushes.

So sweet! Yet the texture disappointing.

It was not done.

I decide to place the rest of the balls back in the slammer,

Uncoated, undealt with.

They’ll sit in the freezer naked,

Until the Good Lord moves to get them out.

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