Marzipan

Only one chocolate cake in all the land. Only this one Sunday. There was some startling
blue. White caps. Only at this window where the loch lives leaping in its song.

Minutes before, sheep turds. I have a blue plaid wool coat. Father in a suit. Mother in
navy or beige. Forty more years until they falter. Raw grown children of immigrants,
farmers knitting up their concoctions of home. (If a man can bend a spoon with his brain.)

We didn’t get older those weeks of marzipan and sugar-dipped fruit. The grapes spitting
in their dulled and yellow coats. Living in a hotel every night. With manners. The fish
with their difficult bones.

Without looking, I know that you are there. The slide tray clicks. The waiters in their red
coats hiding their fifteen-year old grins.

*                                  *                                  *

Far from the medicine cabinet of home. Such a hopeful box. There is no slide of this.
Iodine. Eye-cup. Mercurochrome. Any wound could be painted away.

Telling my rosary beads in the almond paste of clouds. That long ago. The fingerprints of
the waves. The whorls shuddering.

In the coke-fueled fogs of Europe, the chilly Glaswegian streets. Marzipan. What kind of
tasting is this—as if tongued through wax paper. In the shape of a fruit. In the shape of a
pig.

We have found March bread. Looked through its marchpane. We will break it together.
Mortal or vegetable. Hitting any of the taste-buds sideways.

*                      *                      *                      *

The air train shrieks. Suitcases roll. Long corridors of fast food and bad books. We all
think soon—the wheels should lift with our longing. (If a man can bend a spoon.)

Skating along, one hand on the rail of the accelerated walk. A dog on a leash. Two figures
on crutches. This cartoon doesn’t warn enough.

Metallic glandular flux. Can we scrape fear from our mouths. Maybe a rinse with the eye-
cup. The planes trailing their dotted lines.

Outside, it’s dark. Chocolate heavy on the tongue. Spit and his brother (ungathered) leap,
put through a sieve. This could be a slide slipped into the tray. Is this with or without the
moon, lickety-split, fisted, in the shape of the sun, stroll-jaunting away.

Susan Grimm is the author of the collection Lake Erie Blue and chapbooks Almost Home and Roughed Up by the Sun’s Mothering Tongue, with poems in Poetry East, West Branch and The Journal. She has received Copper Nickel Poetry and Hayden Carruth Poetry prizes and an Ohio Arts Council fellowship.